Hidden History: Understanding the Origins of Racial Inequity - Slavery to the Civil War, 1600s to 1860s Add to Calendar Share

Time: Apr 13, 2021 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
Online via Zoom
Contact Name: Grace Kelmer
Contact Email:

Free online event. Use the link below to register. 

Hidden History: Understanding the Origins of Racial Inequality is a series of three online panel discussions framed by the notion that many people are not unaware of the legacy of slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and post-Reconstruction events. Some people believe these occurrences “were a long time ago.” Others say, “I didn’t own slaves or come from the South, why is this my problem?” Many people do not realize how the North, as a region, and its institutions enabled and fostered the slave trade to their own benefit. Also inadequately understood is how laws, policies and practices enacted after the Civil War continue to limit the advancement of Black people to this day.

Our aim is to bring forward little-known segments of history that prompt greater awareness, reflection and perhaps even “aha!’ moments of insight or recognition regarding how “back then” is linked to today. Much of this history happened a long time ago. But it set the stage for today’s laws, policies, and practices, and to right many related wrongs, we need to understand our history better.

These panels are part of Community Grand Rounds, a discussion series begun in 2018 featuring medical and social science experts talking about how people of color experience poorer health outcomes and lower life expectancies due to policies and practices embedded in our society and our healthcare system. This educational outreach effort is designed to accelerate and foster a better understanding of the impact of structural racism on members of this community and society at large.

This panel will feature a discussion of the practice and legacy of slavery prior to the Civil War in the United States.

Topics include:

  1. The legacy of slavery and racism, connecting the earliest days to the present
  2. The role various institutions of society played in enabling the slave trade
  3. The business of slavery
  4. Slave narratives

Moderator: Brian Conybeare, ABC57


  • Jon Wells, Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan
  • Christy Clark-Pujara, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin
  • Kabria Baumgartner, Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire

Executive Producers:

  • Mike Garey, Mayor of the City of St. Joseph
  • Lynn C. Todman, PhD, Vice President, Health Equity, Spectrum Health Lakeland 
  • Jill Stewart, Professor of American studies and English Stewart Communications, Ltd.

Registration Link: