Purdue Black Cultural Center to host touring exhibit, Diaspora discussion on Civil War

March 16, 2012

Clifford Boxley

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's Black Cultural Center will host an exhibit in connection with the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

The "Forks of the Road (Natchez, Miss.) Enslavement Market" exhibit will open at 2 p.m., Wednesday (March 21), at the BCC and remain there until June 1. The center is located at 1100 Third St., West Lafayette.

In conjunction with the exhibit's opening, at both 2 and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday (March 21), there will be diaspora discussions with guest speaker Clifford Boxley. A United States Colored Troop Civil War history promoter, Boxley will talk about blacks in the Civil War Mississippi Valley campaign connection and the ending of slavery in America.

Diaspora discussions, which have been a part of BCC programming since 2006, attempt to educate about black cultures around the world, said Jolivette Anderson-Douoning, cultural liaison and program specialist for the BCC

"The story about America's domestic slave trade from the upper Eastern Seaboard and Midwest states to the Deep South states, via Natchez, Miss., has been largely untold except for a few articles in periodicals and some mention in scholarly history books," Boxley said.

"Historic Natchez proper was a center of chattel slavery and the selling of enslaved people. The historic Natchez' Forks-of-the-Roads juncture, where the second-largest enslavement selling market in the southwest was located from 1833 until the Union army occupied Natchez in 1863, remains."

Anderson-Douoning said the exhibit has 12 panels with graphics that explain the state-to-state routes used to transport enslaved Africans. Once importing Africans for slave labor ended (in 1808), she said, owners began breeding the Africans already in the United States to maintain and grow the labor force.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Sources: Jolivette Anderson-Douoning, 765-494-3094, anders50@purdue.edu

                Clifford Boxley, 601-442-4719, forksyaroads@aol.com