Thursday, March 11, 2010

RELIC Session 3

Dr. Joiner's lecture re slavery kept the audience spellbound. He began the session by talking about the divine right of kings, mercantilism and its connection to slavery.
We'd all read all or part of Solomon Northrup's "Twelve Years a Slave" and felt that it was a great book. Dr. Joiner noted that it was published by Wm. Garrison, the famed Abolitionist, was a best seller for 4 years until Uncle Tom's Cabin was published, and that though Solomon Northrup was shanghied in Washington D.C., he was fortunate to have experienced his slavery in LA rather than any other state. LA had the Code Noire that spelled out somewhat more humane treatment for slaves and that from documents of the period, we know that those enslaved in LA fared better than those in Harrison County, TX, etal.
When I learned that Maspero's in New Orleans was originally a slave pen, I remembered the very different slave pen I visited in Zanzibar. Whereas Maspero's room is above ground, has huge beams and good headroom, the one in Zanzibar was below ground level, had just 2 tiny windows, a low ceiling that made me feel constrained as I walked in and I very swiftly left the oppressive place.
The above video contains the first 2-3 minutes of Dr. Joiner's lecture. Next Wednesday at 5 pm, Dr. Joiner will be speaking about the Civil War. The book we're reading is "The Civil War Memories of Capt. Wm. J. Seymour: Reminiscences of a LA Tiger". Hope you join the group.

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