The legacy of slavery haunts the United States. A movie like "Amistad" or a Presidential dialogue on race can hardly atone for the wrongs done to millions of human beings. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, coming to terms with the past. Also, the artifacts of slavery - from sales receipts to freedom papers. And the outlandish language of honor in the old South - nose pulls and cross dressing.
John Powell teaches at the University of Minnesota Law School and directs the Institute on Race and Poverty there. He tells Steve Paulson that African Americans are still paying for the days of slavery and suggests what American society might do to come to terms with the national past.SEGMENT 2:
Historian Hugh Thomas is the author of "The Slave Trade." He tells Steve Paulson that a lot of people profited from the traffic in human beings; that conditions for the slaves crossing the Atlantic were horrific; and that some 13 million people were shipped out of Africa to labor in the New World. Also, Velma Maia Thomas has collected artifacts of slavery -- freedom papers, slave narratives and sales receipts -- into a book called "Lest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation." She tells Judith Strasser about the items she's collected and reads from some of the documents.SEGMENT 3:
Kenneth Greenberg teaches history at Suffolk University and is the author of "Honor and Slavery." He tells Jim Fleming that "honorable" gentlemen in the Old South evolved absurd rules of behavior in an effort to prove they were better than their slaves. Dueling, cross- dressing, wearing masks, and pulling noses had secret significance relating to slave culture.
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