Ruth Gowitzke News Editor
As February comes to a close in a week, there had been and still has been a lot going on for people who are thinking about black history and those who have been impacted by their own history. NBC Connecticut has a section on their website that addresses events or stories that have happened this month regarding black history. Here are the stories that NBC Connecticut has covered:
On Feb. 7, a woman named Tmara Lanier who lives in Norwich, filed a lawsuit against Harvard University because she wanted them to give her photos they have that show her ancestors as slaves. The report, in video form, talked about how she had been trying to get this photo for a decade, but has not received any word from them. The news site also provided an interview with Lanier who talked about how important those photos are to her and that she has the right to have them because they are her family. Originally, according to Leslie Mayes, who was reporting on the issue, said that the photos were used as research by Lewis Agassiz. He was a researcher, “who believed that black people were inferior and tried to prove it through research and photographing slaves.” One final remark that Lanier made during this interview was, “We should be reunited with what is rightfully ours; the descendants of slaves.”
Another story that NBC Connecticut covered in a video, was posted on Feb. 12, highlighted how students in Middletown defended a Black History Month assembly. The point of the assembly at the Middletown high school as reported by Matt Austin was to make people uncomfortable and bring about change regarding racism. The assembly featured performances that celebrated black history and to further educate students about the history. Austin also talked about in his report how there were heavy topics discussed such as white privilege. Despite some backlash that the students who organized the assembly received, there was still a lot of people who agreed with what they were saying and gave them their full support to continue advocating for students in the community.
In more recent news, there was a video posted on the website on Feb. 19, that talked about how Connecticut has a lot of sites that showcase black history that is a part of the Freedom Trail. One of the sites that was mentioned in the report was John Treadwell Norton’s House, which is on Spring Mountain Road in Farmington. One woman who was interviewed, said, “He [John Treadwell Norton] was a very staunch abolitionist along with Samuel Deming with Austin Williams and Horace Cowles. They actually, those four men, started the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society.” Another place that they mentioned in the report was Elijah Lewis’ home which is also located in Farmington. According to ctfreedomtrail.org there are over 50 Freedom Trails to date in Connecticut.
To learn more about what NBC has covered concerning Black History Month be sure to visit their website.