Yale Launches Web Site Dedicated to History of Slavery in Connecticut

For Immediate Release

Contact: Marilyn Wilkes (203) 432-3413


Yale Launches Web Site Dedicated to History of Slavery in Connecticut

June 7, 2007. New Haven, CT - A new web site (www.yale.edu/glc/citizens), launched by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition (GLC) at Yale, will provide scholars and members of the general public with an invaluable tool to navigate the history of slavery in Connecticut.

Part of The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, the Gilder Lehrman Center developed the site, “Citizens All: African Americans in Connecticut, 1700-1860,” in collaboration with the Yale Center for Media and Instructional Innovation (CMI2). The site will debut on June 15, when the annual meeting of the UNESCO Transatlantic Slave Trade Education Project convenes on the Yale Campus.

Created as a teaching tool, the project provides a scholarly introduction to the history of slavery in Connecticut, the process of gradual emancipation and the struggle for citizenship rights by free blacks and abolitionists both within and beyond the state’s boundaries. The project illustrates the importance of local history in creating, as well as challenging, national and global historical narratives.

“Local history matters because a larger history of the nation and of the world has to begin somewhere,” said David Blight, GLC director, Yale professor and one of the foremost scholars of slavery and its legacy in America. “It has to begin with individual stories, with family stories, with local stories. ‘Citizens All’ illustrates the extent of connections to broader, more global issues that often have roots intertwined with our local hometown stories. We hope that the project contributes to larger discussions of issues such as freedom, education or citizenship and stimulates new discoveries about the legacies of slavery and racism at local, regional, national and international levels.”

Divided into a series of “modules” - Slavery, Freedom, Reaction, Education, Finding Histories - “Citizens All” concentrates on significant 18th- and 19th-century Connecticut historical figures, events and locations that make it clear that slavery was not merely an isolated Southern phenomenon but a lucrative national and global system

Yale developed the “Citizens All” web site as a leader in the United States partnership of the UNESCO Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST) Education Project. The U.S. component of the UNESCO project advances teaching approaches, methods and materials relevant to the transatlantic slave trade and its legacy by promoting collaboration among select colleges and universities and regional school districts from states in the Northeast, Midwest and South. Participating institutions include the College of Charleston, Pennsylvania State University, Tulane University, University of Memphis, University of Mississippi, University of Pittsburgh - Carnegie Mellon and Yale University

The Gilder Lehrman Center makes a vital contribution to the understanding of slavery and its role in the development of the modern world. While its primary focus has been on scholarly research, the Center also strives to bridge the divide between the scholarly community and the wider public. To this end, GLC fosters combined efforts by local, statewide, national and international institutions, such as secondary schools, museums, parks and historical societies, to promote public education about slavery, its global impact and its destruction. Among the many and varied programs offered by GLC are an annual International Conference; lectures, including the annual David Brion Davis lecture series; interdisciplinary forums; professional development workshops for high school and middle school teachers; and visiting residential research fellowships. To better serve scholarship, GLC maintains accessible online databases of historical documents and manages the World Bibliography of Slavery and Abolition.

The Center also sponsors the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, an award for the most outstanding book in English on the subject of slavery, resistance or abolition across time and all nations.

For more information on GLC, visit www.yale.edu/glc.

CMI2 develops leading-edge media and courseware for teaching and learning at Yale. Its mission is to promote innovative and effective uses of technology and new media to enhance learning, both on campus and outside of Yale. To learn more about CMI2, visit http://cmi2.yale.edu.

Contact Information:

Marilyn Wilkes

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale

(203) 432-3413