slavery | WYPR

slavery

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We’re getting close to 400 years since white settlers set foot on Maryland. Most of the early colonists were indentured servants--through their labor they could pay off their debt and become free. But over the colony’s first five decades fewer indentured servants came, says Henry Miller, archeologist at Historic St. Mary’s City. To get labor for their crops, planters turned to the system already rooted further south: slavery. We also hear from Burt Kummerow about the Maryland Four Centuries Project.

all photos by Wendel Patrick

There’s a room hidden behind a curtain at the Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and Bookstore that houses shackles and hand-written slave documents.  Down the block is the historical home of Joel Chandler Harris, who gained fame and fortune as the publisher of the tales of Uncle Remus.  Across the street is a funeral director with a bridge named in his honor and a fleet of custom limousines.  We visit these sites and talk with residents new and old in an Atlanta neighborhood that’s been around longer than Atlanta itself.

Historian Anthony Cohen brings the ‘living history’ model to the Underground Railroad; and novelist Robert Stucky talks about A Complicated Legacy, the story of a Southern plantation owner’s effort to emancipate his slaves, who were also his family.