Lessons from the Enslaved: Discussing Slavery and Freedom in the Classroom

Seminar 7
  • Apr 12, 2024, 9:00 am3:00 pm
  • Apr 19, 2024, 9:00 am3:00 pm
PK-12 Community


Isadora Moura Mota, Ph.D.
Department of History


Event Description

This seminar will explore slavery and abolition as topics of historical knowledge. We will focus primarily on the lives of Africans and their descendants in Latin America, the receiving end of at least two thirds of the 12.5 million people forcefully uprooted from Africa between 1500 and 1870. The sessions will look at a broad range of Black experiences from a comparative perspective, including the United States. We will cover questions like: How does one find the voices of the enslaved in historical sources created to turn African peoples into commodities, such as bills of sale and runaway slave ads? Is there a relationship between slavery and anti-Black racism? How do we create a safe and engaging space for discussion and learning where race is a topic? Our focus will be on the ways through which the enslaved fought back against the brutality of slavery, including the creation of families, insurgency, resistance at work, running away, and the formation of maroon communities. Together, we will learn how to engage in close textual readings of primary sources and where to find them. Seminar participants are encouraged to share their classroom experiences and debate the legacies of slavery in the making of school