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Season 2011 Episode 11.10.11

Collective Memory, A Philadelphia Story: George Washington and Slavery

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Collective Memory, A Philadelphia Story: George Washington and Slavery
AIRED:
Collective memory is increasingly discussed as an important feature of group behavior, playing a role in ethnic and racial conflict. Marc Howard Ross considers race and slavery in the United States, emphasizing the phenomenon of selective forgetting in the north, where the story of slavery and segregation has only recently been exposed. The specific conflict he describes concerns George Washington and the nine enslaved Africans who lived in the President’s house in Philadelphia from 1790-1797. The house that was torn down in the 1830’s was a block away from Independence Hall — where the national narrative of freedom and liberty is celebrated. The former slave quarters lie almost directly under the entrance to the Liberty Bell Pavilion. How can the complex histories of freedom and slavery be told together?moreless
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