For Immediate Release
October 8, 2009
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Release of New Study on Slavery and UM's Early History
A highly anticipated and unusual study into the historical connection between the University of Maryland and African American slavery will be released and discussed at an event on Friday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m.
Knowing Our History: African American Slavery and the University of Maryland, a new study conducted by UM distinguished university professor of history Ira Berlin and a class of top students, is the result of a year-long investigation.
The predecessor of the University, the Maryland Agricultural College, opened its doors in the fall of 1859.
With the encouragement of University of Maryland President C.D. Mote, Jr., Professor Berlin and his team sought to "explore, document and define the historic connections between African American slavery and the Maryland Agricultural College." They began by looking for what Berlin calls a "smoking gun," such as records showing that slaves constructed university buildings or were involved in campus operations. However, no such records were found.
"It was no secret that slavery had some relationship to the founding of the Maryland Agricultural College," Berlin says. "It could be no other way in Maryland, as slavery touched every aspect of life." But what precisely was that relationship? Prior research had been uncertain because campus records were lost in a catastrophic fire that destroyed much of the University over a hundred years ago.
Presentation of the research by Dr. Berlin and his students will be followed by remarks and comments from various experts and University officials, including President Mote.
Key Participants include:
C.D. Mote, Jr., president, University of Maryland
Friday, Oct. 9, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora;
Information provided by the Office of University Communications
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