slavery

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

One hundred fifty years ago on Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 13th amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery.

To commemorate, Connecticut's Second District Congressman Joe Courtney issued a resource guide for students that details Connecticut's part in passing the amendment.

The guide also corrects a glaring mistake in Steven Spielberg's 2013 movie "Lincoln."

Anne Farrow

Connecticut played a big role in slavery and the Holocaust...but most of us don't know about it.

First, a powerful New London merchant and ship owner sailed his ships to West Africa and the Caribbean for more than 40 years during the late 18th century to trade in slaves whose labor lined the pockets of his most respected family.

The illegal trade in ivory from African elephants has tripled in the past 15 years, to the extent that biologists fear for the creatures' future existence.

Chion Wolf

Here's a little bit of Civil War history that seems to have started here in Connecticut. It was in this month of February in 1860 that Cassius Clay, a Kentucky planter turned anti-slavery crusader spoke in Hartford not far from where we're doing this show today. He was accompanied by a torch-bearing honor guard in capes and caps. The Hartford Courant called these young men "wide-awakes." 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

As my friend Alex Beam said today, 12 Years a Slave has a way of taking things that were abstractions and making them real. It's one thing to talk about abolition, another to see the essential need for it. Even a figure like John Brown, says Alex, looks different when you see the true carnage of slavery.

We're talking about this astonishing new Steve McQueen movie today on The Nose and we'll find it pretty easy I predict.

Slavery is an accepted part of the history of the American South. But it was also practiced throughout the North.

Around the time of the American Revolution, Connecticut had more than 6,000 slaves, the most in New England.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Diane Orson of WNPR brings us the story of an 18th century Connecticut slave whose remains were recently laid to rest, more than 200 years after his death.

Earlier this week, a school in Hartford, Conn., made headlines after parents complained about its, uh, novel approach at making America's racial history resonate with seventh graders.

Portraying Lincoln

Feb 12, 2013
Catie Talarski

It’s argued that no one can do as good of a job of portraying President Lincoln on film as Daniel Day-Lewis. 

Lincoln, the movie, is up for 12 Academy Awards. But weeks before the Oscars, Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney is asking the studio to alter an inaccuracy that puts Connecticut on the wrong side of the slavery debate.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The presidency of Barack Obama has been a milestone in America’s history of race: from a country whose Founding Fathers owned slaves to a black man in the White House.

But while the Obamas are seen as the first African American “first family” - their own racial history is much more complex.

NY Times reporter Rachel Swarns details the complexity of the first lady’s ancestral history in her book, American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama.

Flickr Creative Commons, cliff1066

There's an oft-cited quote from John Adams writing in 1808, after his presidency. "Connecticut has always been governed by an aristocracy, more decisively than the empire of Great Britain. Half a dozen, or at most, a dozen families have controlled that country when a colony, as well as since it has been a state." 

Chion Wolf

***Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti will perform as Harriet Tubman Monday, July 11, from 1 to 2 p.m. at John J. Sullivan's in Ansonia.***

Today we're doing an all-Harriet show, featuring Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman and Harriet the Spy.