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Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery

In conjunction with the United Nations resolution designating 2004 as the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery and its Abolition, New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture presents this Web exhibit. Making use of Schomburg Center materials, as well as items loaned by other public institutions and private collections, the Web exhibition begins with a section entitled "A New People" that traces the complex genetic heritage of today's African-Americans--the vast majority descended from enslaved Africans--but also counting Europeans, Native Americans, and Asians among their ancestors. Shackles and coffle chains, currency used in the 16th to 19th centuries to buy and sell slaves, and artwork depicting the horrors of the slave trade are some the artifacts in "The Long March". "Slave Labor and Slave Systems" outlines the skilled and unskilled labor that African slaves were brought to the Americas to do, from sugar plantations in Brazil to cotton plantations in the southern United States. The exhibition also includes sections on the abolition of slavery in the United States, family life, religion, education, and "Expressive Culture", describing the influence of Africans on music, art, speech and dress in the U.S.
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