Professor Continues Free Documentary Film Series, “Freedom, Equality, Democracy: Looking Back, Moving Forward”

Wayne Glasker, an associate professor of history at Rutgers–Camden, will present the second installment in a free documentary film series titled “Freedom, Equality, Democracy:  Looking Back, Moving Forward” at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7.

Glasker will discuss the 90-minute documentary, “Slavery by Another Name,” during this public lecture and screening at the Cherry Hill Public Library, located at 1100 Kings Highway North in Cherry Hill.

lecturecoverAccording to Glasker, slavery and involuntary servitude “technically” ended in 1865 with the passage of the 13th Amendment, except in cases as punishment for a crime. “After the Civil War, tens of thousands of black people were forced into involuntary servitude for petty offenses such as allegedly stealing a hog, or owing a debt,” explains the Rutgers–Camden scholar. “States and counties made a profit from leasing convicts to private plantations, coal mines, lumber companies, and railroads.”

In the early 20th century, state and county government utilized the labor of inmates to work on the roads in chain gangs. Not until the 1940s were debt slavery and convict lease effectively ended. “Although we think that coerced labor and involuntary servitude ended in 1865, for almost a million African Americans slavery continued in a new form until the 1940s,” he says. “This forgotten chapter reminds us that the path to freedom had far more roadblocks than we usually realize, or care to remember.”

Each presentation in the film series features a 15-minute introduction, followed by the documentary. Glasker then facilitates a 30- to 45-minute discussion, as time permits.

Glasker-blackboard-feature“It is less a lecture series than a public history series, one that explores history through documentary film,” explains Glasker. “The purpose is to take ‘history’ out to the community through public libraries and institutions. We want to talk to the people, not just other historians and professionals, whom we meet at conferences.”

Glasker is a specialist in African American and 20th-century U.S. history. His fields of expertise include the civil rights movement, slavery, the Harlem Renaissance, race and ethnicity. At Rutgers–Camden, he also teaches the courses Africa: Pre-Colonial Africa, and Africa Since 1800.

A member of the history department since 1991, Glasker served as director of the African American Studies Program at Rutgers–Camden from 1998 to 2011. He was recently honored with a Visionary Leader Award from the Camden County East chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Posted in: EVENTS

Comments are closed.