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New England's Abolitionist History At Odds With Racist Realities

Here’s the story that New England tells itself: Racism is a Southern problem.

But our region’s abolitionist past hides a darker history of racism, slavery and segregation. It’s a legacy that lives with us today. 

Listen to the show here.

Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

This week, we begin a special radio series on “Racism in New England” — produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified. In this first of four weekly episodes, we’ll focus on New England’s direct involvement and complicity in slavery and white supremacy.

Check your station here for specific air dates in New England.

We also want to hear from you:

  • Is your community segregated? What role does racism play? And what can we do about it?


Leave us a voicemail on our comment line: 860-275-7595. Or email us at AmericaAmplified@nepm.org.

GUESTS:

Don Stevens, chief of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

James DeWolf Perry VI, whose Rhode Island ancestors were among the largest slave traders in American history. He served as a historical consultant for the documentary “Traces of the Trade.”

James W. Loewen, author of “Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism” and professor emeritus at the University of Vermont.

Pat Wilson Pheanious, state representative in Connecticut whose ancestors were among the first to be memorialized in the Witness Stones Project that honors enslaved residents of Guilford, Connecticut.

CREDITS:

Hosts: Morgan Springer of NEXT and Traci Griffith

Coordinating Producer: Morgan Springer

Producer: Lydia Brown of Vermont Public Radio

Executive Producer: John Dankosky of America Amplified

Executive Editor: Vanessa de la Torre

Additional support: Connecticut Public, New England Public Media, Vermont Public Radio, Maine Public Radio, New Hampshire Public Radio and CAI Cape and Islands. America Amplified and the New England News Collaborative are funded, in part, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC
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Connecticut Public/NENC
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC
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Connecticut Public/NENC
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC
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Connecticut Public/NENC
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC
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Connecticut Public/NENC

Copyright 2020 Connecticut Public Radio

Vanessa de la Torre comes to WNPR after more than a decade as a newspaper reporter at the Hartford Courant, where her storytelling and investigative work on Hartford education was recognized regionally and by the Education Writers Association. She has also written for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida and interned at the Washington Post and the Imperial Valley Press in her native El Centro, Calif., a desert town near the U.S.-Mexico border. Vanessa received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and her master's from Stanford’s journalism program.
Morgan Springer is the producer for the weekly show NEXT and the New England News Collaborative, an eight-station consortium of public radio newsrooms. She joined WNPR in 2019. Before working at Connecticut Public Radio, Morgan was the news director at Interlochen Public Radio in northern Michigan, where she launched and co-hosted a weekly show Points North.
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