On June 3, 2016 The Historic New Orleans Collection and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities announced “Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865,” a traveling panel exhibition exploring the history of the domestic slave trade. Presented by Entergy Corporation with additional support from the National Park Service, the exhibition will travel to 10 Louisiana communities in 2016-2018. The tour will begin in November 2016 at the Cane River National Heritage.
The Cane River Creole National Historical Park in Natchitoches, Nov. 1, 2016 – Dec. 13, 2016
City Hall in Bunkie, January 2, 2017 – February 13, 2017
The West Baton Rouge Museum, February 17, 2017 – March 31, 2017
Organization of American Historians, April 5 – April 11 2017
Jackson Parish Library in Jonesboro, April 17, 2017 – May 26, 2017
Bossier Parish Library, June 1, 2017 – July 13, 2017
The Bayou Teche Museum in New Iberia, July 17, 2017 – August 28, 2017
Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, September 5, 2017 – October 13, 2017
The Pointe Coupee Library in New Roads, October 17, 2017 – November 28, 2017
The St. Tammany Parish Library in Slidell, December 1, 2017 – January 12, 2018
12/4/2017 Many Rivers to Cross – Film Viewing – Part 1 6-7:30 p.m. Slidell Branch
12/5/2017 Opening Reception with Exhibit Curator, Erin Greenwald 6-7:30 p.m. Slidell Branch
12/6/2017 Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the 6-7:30 p.m. Slidell Branch
Underground Railroad with Professional Photographer, Jeanine Michna-Bales
12/8/2017 Help Me to Find My People Book Discussion 3-4 p.m. Slidell Branch
12/8/2017 Exploring Digital Archives of Slavery Databases 2-3 p.m. Madisonville Branch
12/11/2017 Many Rivers to Cross – Film Viewing – Part 2 6-7:30 p.m. Slidell Branch
12/13/2017 Help Me to Find My People Book Discussion 5-6 p.m. South Slidell Branch
12/14/2017 Virtual Field Trip to the Underground Railroad 2-3 p.m. Madisonville Branch
12/18/2017 The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing (Book 1) 4:30-5:30 p.m. Slidell Branch
Teen Book Club Discussion
12/18/2017 Many Rivers to Cross – Film Viewing – Part 3 6-7:30 p.m. Slidell Branch
1/9/2018 Proofs of Purchase: Documenting Enslaved Ancestors 2-3:30 p.m. Slidell Branch
with Mr. Jari C. Honora
1/11/2018 A Journey Through Slavery at the Whitney Plantation 2-3:30 p.m. Slidell Branch
with Dr. Ibrahima Seck
Calcasieu Parish Public Libraries, January 16, 2018 – February 27, 2018
1/18/18 Opening Reception for Purchased Lives Exhibit
History Professor John Keeling of McNeese State University will provide a lecture and discussion about the Louisiana slave trade and how it trickled into the Southwest Louisiana area and how it impacted and continues to impact our state. There will be a refreshment reception after and participants will have a chance to peruse the exhibit and speak to Mr. Keeling about any questions concerning the exhibit materials.
1/23/18 Tuesday Night Family Night- Harriet Tubman Fights Slavery
This program will be geared towards children. We will watch a children’s biography DVD about Harriet Tubman, and we will then read Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford. We will then make a latern craft for the children and will have a mini discussion about discrimination and tolerance.
1/31/18 Naima Johnson presents “Echoes of My Sisters’ Voices”
Dr. Johnson, a professional storyteller, will presents a story/song presentation of the history of African American women, starting from the early slave women brought from African all the way to modern day African American female leaders.
2/5/18 Women and Slavery
History professor Janet Allured of McNeese State University will give a lecture and then lead a discussion about the roles of women in slavery and how their dedication to trying to keep their families together impacted their situation and their futures.
2/8/17 Movie and Lunch Discussion- 12 Years A Slave (this will be presented at Epps Memorial Library in North Lake Charles)
Participants will view the 2013 movie, Twelve Years a Slave. This will be followed by a discussion of the movie and light refreshments.
2/10/18 Breaking Through the Brick Wall, presented by Jari Honora (this will be presented at the Southwest Genealogy Library in downtown Lake Charles)
Genealogist Jari Honora will discuss the best techniques and research tips for African American families to trace their families’ ancestors in slavery and beyond.
2/21/18 Central Book Club presents, “Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery” by Heather A. Williams
Central’s Book Club will read this book and then discuss the contents and how the struggles of recovering from destroyed families and slavery still impact communities today.
2/22/17 Movie and Lunch Discussion- Slavery By Another Name (this will be presented at Epps Memorial Library in North Lake Charles)
Participants will view the 2012 PBS Documentary, Slavery By Another Name. This will be followed by a discussion of the movie and light refreshments.
Curated by THNOC Historian Erin M. Greenwald, “Purchased Lives” examines the period between America’s 1808 abolishment of the international slave trade and the end of the Civil War, during which an estimated two million people were forcibly moved among the nation’s states and territories. The domestic trade wreaked new havoc on the lives of enslaved families, as owners and traders in the Upper South—Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC—sold and shipped surplus laborers to the developing Lower South—Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Many of those individuals passed through New Orleans, which was the largest slave market in antebellum America.
The traveling panel display will be presented in addition to the exhibition of original artifacts that will be traveling to the Alexandria Museum of Art, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. A grant—totaling $282,190—from the National Endowment for the Humanities supports that traveling exhibition as well as teacher workshops and programming at each site.
Confirmed host sites include: Creole National Historical Park in Natchitoches, the Bayou Teche Museum in New Iberia, the West Baton Rouge Museum, the Pointe Coupee Library in New Roads, the St. Tammany Parish Library in Slidell, City Hall in Bunkie, Caddo Parish Library in Shreveport, Cameron Parish Library in Lake Charles, and Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.
The LEH will issue grant funds and travel stipends to participating host sites, and coordinate training workshops with THNOC and local partners. Email LEH Grants Manager Chris Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About the Exhibition
This traveling panel exhibition presents facsimiles of objects that were presented in Purchased Lives: New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade, 1808–1865 at The Historic New Orleans Collection from March to July 2015.
- Explores the history of the domestic slave trade, from the abolition of the international trade in 1808 to the close of the Civil War
- Provides resources for understanding the profound impact of the trade on the millions of enslaved individuals who found themselves forcibly separated from their communities
- Examines New Orleans’s role as the country’s largest and most profitable slave market
- Looks at industries that undergirded the slave trade, including banking, insurance, health care, provisioning, and textile manufacturing
- “Mapping the Coastal Slave Trade” interactive map, tracking the movement of more than 70,000 men, women, and children forcibly shipped to New Orleans between 1819 and 1860
- “Freedom on the Move” interactive map, showing contemporary sites associated with newspaper ads for fugitive slaves
- “Lost Friends” database, providing access to more than 1,000 postwar ads placed by individuals seeking to reconnect with loved ones lost in slavery
- Visitor survey, collecting demographic data and feedback
- Five double-sided, collapsible banner stands (total of ten panels)
- Each banner stand footprint is 37ʺ w x 10ʺ d
- Each panel, when installed, is 31.5ʺ w x 84ʺ h
- Two freestanding iPad kiosks with digital components
- Resource notebook containing detailed support material
- Each host site will appoint a project director; all project directors will travel to New Orleans for group content training prior to installation.
- Host sites are asked to develop associated programming.
- Sample programming ideas for film screenings, book clubs, and discussion groups will be provided.
THNOC will provide a press kit, including sample press release, high-resolution photos, and art for ads.
- $3,000 provided for labor costs, in-house training, programming, and promotion
- Travel costs for project director training in New Orleans
- Travel costs for project director and one assistant to attend implementation workshop at the first installation location
About The Historic New Orleans Collection
Located in the French Quarter, THNOC is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of Louisiana and the Gulf South region. For more information, visit www.hnoc.org.
About the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
The LEH is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans. For more information, visit www.leh.org.