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Freetown Village, Indiana State Museum and IUPUI host discussion on 'Slavery by Another Name'


INDIANAPOLIS — The documentary film “Slavery by Another Name” will be the focus of a free, public forum hosted by Freetown Village, Indiana State Museum and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The documentary is part of a film series developed by the National Endowment for Humanities to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The forum will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in the Dean and Barbara White Auditorium at the Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St. It will feature excerpts from the film; discussion by Alex Lichtenstein, assistant professor of history at Indiana University Bloomington, and Brian C. Reeder, director of re-entry for the Department of Public Safety in Indianapolis; and a special performance by Freetown Village living history museum.

“Slavery by Another Name” is about a reality that often went unacknowledged, then and now: a huge system of forced, unpaid labor, mostly affecting Southern black men, that lasted until World War II. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, “Slavery by Another Name” tells the stories of men, charged with crimes like vagrancy and often guilty of nothing, who were bought and sold, abused, and subjected to sometimes deadly working conditions as unpaid convict labor.

It is one of four documentary films featured in the National Endowment for Humanities’ Bridging Cultures initiative: “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle.”  

Freetown Village and the Indiana State Museum received National Endowment for Humanities grants to support public programming exploring the themes of the “Created Equal” project.  Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of the Bridging Cultures Initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History.