From Slavery to Freedom Lab

Named after John Hope Franklin’s groundbreaking 1947 history of African Americans, and directed by faculty members Richard J. Powell, Jasmine Nichole Cobb, and Lamonte Aidoo, the lab will “examine the life and afterlives of slavery and emancipation, linking Duke University to the Global South.” Planned projects include: a web source on primary sources on slavery in Duke University Libraries archives, featuring linkages to slavery in Carolinas and the Global South; a provision ground – the land typically set aside on plantations for enslaved people to grow their own crops – at Duke Campus Farm, as a “living monument” to represent the land’s history as a plantation; and an art exhibition on sculptural works related to the abolition of slavery.

“Rick, Jasmine, and I are excited to collaborate with students, faculty, and the greater Durham community to examine the painful, yet rich histories of slavery and freedom in the African Diaspora,” said Lamonte Aidoo. “The vestiges of slavery are yet present, and we envision our lab as a space to reflect collectively not only on its enduring impact as an institution, but think critically on how the legacies of resistance throughout the African Diaspora might help us to work toward liberation, inclusion, and social justice in the present. Now is the perfect time to for members of the Duke community to explore the cultural aftermaths of slavery—whether visual, literary, social or sentient—and the routes to freedom that link Durham to the Global South.”

Fall 2018 courses associated with the lab will include “African Art: Court/Marketplace” (ARTHIST 345), “Intro to African American Studies” (AAAS 102), and “Race and Sex in Brazillian History” (ROMS89S).

March on Washington historic photo
In front of 170 W 130 St., March on Washington, l to r, Bayard Rustin, Deputy Director, and Cleveland Robinson, Chairman of Administrative Committee / World Telegram & Sun photo by O. Fernandez. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.