Princeton & Slavery Events at Princeton Public Library

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A 1777 receipt for the sale of a slave by Mary Bainbridge, from the Historical Society of Princeton collection.

Princeton & Slavery Exhibit Oct. 17 to Dec. 15 The exhibit draws on historical documents from the Princeton University Archives and the Historical Society of Princeton to illuminate how deeply ingrained the practice of slavery was throughout the community well into the 19th century. The exhibit will be open to the public any time the library is open and a program is not taking place in the room. Princeton Room Co-sponsored by the library, the Historical Society of Princeton and the Princeton University Library.

Princeton’s curator of collections and research, will describe the extraordinary glimpses of Princeton’s history the archival collections provide. Among the items on view will be a newspaper from 1766, which features the cold reality of the times: an ad that reads, “To be sold...two Negro women, a negro man, and three negro children.” Linke and Schwartz will present on the importance of preserving archival materials, a vital source of perspective and enlightenment for generations to come. Newsroom and Discovery Center Co-sponsored by the library, the Historical Society of Princeton and the Princeton University Library.

Creating Art from Primary Historical Sources Thursday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m. Nathan Alan Davis, playwright and lecturer in theater at Princeton University, takes participants on a journey of exploration and expression inspired by selected historical material from the Princeton University archives. This three-hour interactive

Sharon Draper Tuesday, Oct. 24, 6 p.m. The acclaimed author and educator talks about her historical novel for young adults, “Copper Sun.” The book tells the story of 15-year-old Amari, whose happy life in Ghana is destroyed when she is captured and sold into a life of slavery in America. Community Room Co-sponsored by the library and jaZams.

Open Archives: Princeton & Slavery Library Exhibit Monday, Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m. The kick-off event of the library’s Princeton and Slavery exhibit features the chance to view actual historical documents from the Princeton University Archives and the Historical Society of Princeton that were used in research for The Princeton & Slavery Project. Dan Linke, university archivist, and Stephanie Schwartz, Historical Society of

experience will include guided writing exercises and the opportunity for participants to share what they create in the course of the workshop. Davis is one of seven playwrights commissioned by McCarter Theatre for “The Princeton & Slavery Plays.” Limited to 17 participants who register through the events calendar at Conference Room Co-sponsored by the library and McCarter Theatre Center.

Princeton & Slavery Student Film Screenings and Q&A Tuesday, Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m.

James Baldwin in a scene from “I Am Not Your Negro,” to be screened Nov. 14, followed by a discussion with Ruha Benjamin.

Film and Discussion with Ruha Benjamin “I Am Not Your Negro: James Baldwin and Race in America” Tuesday, Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m. Ruha Benjamin, assistant professor of AfricanAmerican studies at Princeton University, leads a post-screening discussion of the Academy Awardnominated documentary based on an unfinished manuscript by writer and social critic James Baldwin. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of Baldwin’s close friends Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. In “I Am Not Your Negro,” filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book Baldwin never finished. The result is an up-to-the-minute examination of race in America and a journey through black history that connects the Civil Rights Movement of the past to today’s #BlackLivesMatter. 1 hour, 34 minutes. Community Room

“The Princeton & Slavery Plays” A Post-Show Community Conversation with Not in Our Town Princeton Monday,Nov.20,7 p.m. On the day following McCarter Theatre’s staging of “The Princeton & Slavery Plays,” facilitators from Not in Our Town Princeton present an opportunity to debrief on the personal audience experience of the plays. The discussion of the seven short plays, based on documents uncovered as part of the Princeton & Slavery Project, is also a chance to further examine the themes and issues underpinning the research and findings of the project that continue to affect the community today. Community Room Co-sponsored by the library, Not in Our Town Princeton and McCarter Theatre Center. All series events are presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Join Princeton & Slavery project director Marni Sandweiss and four Princeton University undergraduate student filmmakers to explore the continuing resonance of family stories about slavery through four short films based on research from the Princeton & Slavery Project. Each of the short films will be shown, followed by a discussion with the students about their inspiration, creative process, what they learned in making the films, and what they hope the audience will take away from each one. An audience Q&A will follow. Community Room

Challenging Slavery and Its Legacies in Princeton Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. Slavery has permeated the history of this country, in Princeton as elsewhere, but it also has faced significant opposition. Many residents of Princeton’s black neighborhood, including the Witherspoon Presbyterian Street Church’s long time minister, the Rev. William Robeson, who escaped from slavery as a youth, actively resisted Jim Crow segregation. Years later, longtime Princeton resident and scientist Albert Einstein joined the Rev. Robeson’s son, Princeton native Paul Robeson, in an effort to end lynching and stand against McCarthyism. Throughout the years, Princeton’s African-American residents have worked to combat racism in the schools, housing and the justice system. Witherspoon-Jackson neighbors will join panelists Rodger Taylor, Fred Jerome and Kitsi Watterson, to read excerpts from their books: “Einstein on Race and Racism” and “I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African American Princeton,” respectively. A light dinner will be served. Register at the events calendar at Carl A. Fields Center Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding. 58 Prospect Ave. Co-sponsored by the library and the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding at Princeton University.

The Project The Princeton & Slavery Project investigates Princeton University’s historical involvement with the institution of slavery. Launched in a 2013 undergraduate research seminar and directed by university history professor Martha A. Sandweiss, the project was undertaken by undergraduate and graduate students and received guidance from University Archivist Dan Linke. So that its findings could be shared with the broader community, the project was expanded to include the Historical Society of Princeton, Princeton University’s Center for Digital Humanities, The Princeton University Art Museum, McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton Public Schools, Princeton Public Library and others. Research from the project will be presented in a landmark symposium, Nov. 17-18, on the Princeton University campus. The full schedule of symposium events, including exhibits, public talks, a film screening, walking tours and short plays at McCarter Theatre Center, can be found at

Princeton Public Library // Sands Library Building // 65 Witherspoon St., Princeton, NJ, 08542 (609) 924-9529 //

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