Editors's note: The Alvin Adams Memorial Lecture is cancelled (updated March 1)
ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 27, 2007) -- President Thomas Jefferson signed a bill on March 2, 1807, that abolished the U.S. slave trade. Ohio University will celebrate the bicentennial of that historic day by hosting a commemoration on March 1-2.
"This event will examine how the slave trade impacted the future of the United States," said Vibert Cambridge, chair of African American Studies.
The commemoration will consist of two evening lectures, a workshop and two panel discussions centered around slavery and the slave trade.
David Eltis, professor of history at Emory University, will give the keynote address at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 1, in the Baker University Center Theatre. He will debut his Web version of the "Atlantic Slave Trade" database, which contains records from more than 35,000 slave trade voyages that took place between 1526 and 1866. It will be the first public demonstration of this historic Web site that will reveal the vastness of the African slave trade.
On Friday, March 2, Eltis will host a workshop featuring his slave trade database from 10 a.m. to noon in Computer Lab B in the Computer Services Center.
Ohio University history and African American Studies faculty members will host a panel discussion on the abolition of the slave trade from 2 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Baker University Center room 242. Robin Jenkins from African-American Studies and History faculty members Nicholas Creary, Mariana Dantas and Brian Schoen will lead the discussion.
From 4 to 5 p.m., Charles Fox of the Ohio University President's Office for Diversity and Deanda Johnson, coordinator of the Ohio University African-American Research and Service Institute, will host a history panel at Baker University Center room 242. During his presentation, Fox will shed light on a breeding plantation in West Virginia where some of his relatives were conceived. Johnson will recount stories from African-American Ohio River Valley residents about the role slavery played in their family genealogy.
The commemoration concludes with the 2007 Alvin Adams Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. in the Baker University Center Theatre. Eric Burin, associate professor of history at the University of North Dakota, will present "Love of Liberty Brought Us Here: Liberia and the Politics of Slavery." His lecture will focus on the African Colonization Movement and details about blacks that migrated from the United States to Liberia in the late 1800s and early 1900s. All of the events are free and open to the public.
"The end of the slave trade is one of the major historic moments in Anglo-American history," Cambridge said. "Attendees of the symposium will get a clearer understanding of the slave trade and its consequences."
The Ohio University African American Studies, History and Social Work departments and the Multicultural Genealogical Center are sponsoring the commemoration.
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