Students at Witness Stone affiliate the Salisbury School have been uncovering the history of slavery in Northwest Connecticut. Here they present the life of Elizabeth Freeman.
“This movie has forced us to confront history that challenges our perception of who we are and how we became a country. Looking at the contributions local families of color like the Mars and the Cesars have had on our communities has really opened our eyes. In turn, our aim is to use our work to help form a more complete and inclusive history that highlights the contributions of all Americans. This project is not about simply uncovering the history of one Black family in America, it is also about completing the inaccurate and incomplete history of our diverse American Family.” -Nicholas Gray, Producer
Listen to the interview here.
Salisbury School student Caleb May leads a discussion about the film Coloring Our Past with Cesar family descendants and friends.
Among several class projects, this film is one of three documentaries students from Salisbury School’s Searching for Slavery class have created over the course of the year to carry out their mission of educating the public about this important history, rewriting the stories that have been recorded incorrectly, and uncovering lives that have been ignored or buried.
From the Atlantic Black Box Project on May 22, 2021
Salisbury, Connecticut: Students from Salisbury School’s Searching for Slavery class, in conjunction with the Upper Housatonic Heritage Area, are excited to screen the premiere of their film, Looking for Color on May 26, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. for Noble Horizons. Among several class projects, this film is one of three documentaries students have created over the course of the year to carry out their mission of educating the public about this important history, rewriting the stories that have been recorded incorrectly, and uncovering lives that have been ignored or buried. Continue reading.
From the Litchfield County Times on May 19, 2021
SALISBURY — Noble Horizons, a senior retirement community at 17 Cobble Road, will premiere Coloring Our Past, a film made by Salisbury School students in Rhonan Mokriski’s 2020-21 Searching for Slavery class, on May 26 at 7 p.m.
The film chronicles their discovery of the lost stories of local Black and Indigenous peoples whose contributions have been hidden from history for the last 200-plus years, an announcement said. Throughout the year, the students have conducted extensive research, field work, interviews and other efforts to uncover the lives of people who have long been buried, forgotten, or ignored, the announcement said. Continue reading.
By Patrick L. Sullivan in the TriCornerNews on May 5, 2021
NORFOLK — The life of James Mars was celebrated at the Norfolk Congregational Church on Sunday, May 2, with a ceremony marking the unveiling of a witness stone honoring Mars, the last slave bought or sold in Norfolk. Continue reading.
Salisbury School students honor James Mars’s legacy.
By Shaw Israel Izikson in the Winsted Phoenix on May 1, 2021.
NORFOLK — A ceremony was held for the unveiling of a Witness Stone for James Mars on Saturday, May 1. According to the Witness Stone project’s website at witnessstonesproject.org, a Witness Stone is a marker that recalls an enslaved individual at a site of significance. Continue reading.
Students at the Salisbury School brought the community together on May 1, 2021, to share their research and reflections on James Mars. Their work was part of a project-based learning course entitled, “Searching for Slavery in Northwest Connecticut,” taught by History Faculty Rhonan Mokriski.
The students documented the day with a new website and film. We invite you to take a look here.