A panel version of the powerful and poignant traveling exhibition “Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865” will be coming to Bossier Parish Library Historical Center, June 1 to July 13. Presented by Entergy Corporation with additional support from the National Park Service, National Endowment for the Humanities and The Kabacoff Family Foundation, “Purchased Lives” examines one of the most challenging eras of U.S. history.
The portable panel display, which has been curated and produced by The Historic New Orleans Collection, will visit libraries, museums and community centers across Louisiana. The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities will oversee the transport and logistics of the traveling display, assist in training staff at the host sites to present the exhibit and support public programs in 10 Louisiana communities.
“Purchased Lives” examines the period between America’s 1808 abolishment of the international slave trade and the end of the Civil War, during which an estimated two million people were forcibly moved among the nation’s states and territories. The domestic trade wreaked new havoc on the lives of enslaved families, as owners and traders in the Upper South—Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC—sold and shipped surplus laborers to the developing Lower South—Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Many of those individuals passed through New Orleans, which was the largest slave market in antebellum America.
Exhibit related programming will include book discussions, food, performances, and poetry.