This week, The Daily Princetonian (Princeton University's campus newspaper) published an article recognizing the 10-year anniversary of The Princeton & Slavery Project -- which means it's my 10-year work anniversary too. I've been involved with the project since it was founded as a single undergraduate research seminar taught by Princeton history professor Martha Sandweiss, first as a researcher and writer and now the project's editor and project manager.
From that first course in 2013, the project has expanded into a major digital history initiative, with all of our findings fully accessible to the public on our website. There, you'll find a digital archive of 400+ primary sources and more than 100 interpretive essays investigating Princeton University's historical links to the institution of slavery.
Next week, I will be providing expert public comment at the first session of the New Jersey Reparations Council. This is a virtual meeting, open to the public, and anyone can watch on the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice's YouTube channel next Tuesday, September 16, at 6:30 PM (ET).
I've worked on The Princeton & Slavery Project since 2013, so I've spent the last decade learning and writing about the history of slavery in the North -- but it wasn't something I got much of in high school or college. Slavery is often portrayed (in popular culture and the classroom) as a strictly southern institution. That's far from the case, and it's why we need informed conversations like the upcoming NJ Reparations Council meeting.
Whether you plan to attend the session or not, I highly recommend The Price of Silence: The Forgotten Story of New Jersey's Enslaved People to anyone interested in learning more about slavery in the "free" states. I'm fortunate to have contributed to the film, and am delighted that it was recognized with a NY Emmy nomination this year. The full 30-minute documentary is free to watch on YouTube or the PBS website.