Expressions of Freedom
Dr. Nancy Bercaw, lead curator of the “Slavery and Freedom” exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, will explore Rhode Island’s role in telling the story of global slavery. Beginning in the 15th century with the transatlantic slave trade and travelling through the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, the museum’s centerpiece exhibition “Slavery and Freedom” uses personal stories and priceless artifacts such as Harriet Tubman’s shawl and Nat Turner’s Bible to explore the economic and political legacies of slavery for all Americans. Dr. Bercaw will discuss the Rhode Island Historical Society’s role in the creation of this exhibit and its preservation of objects and stories from both slaves and slave traders.
Presented with the Rhode Island Historical Society
Dr. Nancy Bercaw, Senior Curator and Chair of the Division of Political History at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, served as the lead curator of the “Slavery and Freedom” exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Bercaw received her bachelor’s degree in history from Oberlin College and her master’s and doctoral degrees in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Bercaw is the author of Gendered Freedoms: Race, Rights, and the Politics of the Household in the Mississippi Delta, 1861–1875. She edited Gender and the Southern Body Politic and co-edited the Gender volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.