“Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North” is a powerful documentary film on the North’s role in slavery, white privilege and how faith communities can take the lead in truth telling and reconciliation.
(ReadTheSpirit’s overview of the film strongly recommends it as a starting point for small-group discussion.)
IN ADDITION to resources we’ve highlighted, PBS and the “P.O.V.” documentary series is providing even more helpful links. First, remember that the national broadcast is 10 p.m. June 24 — BUT CHECK LOCAL TV LISTINGS as days and times may vary in some regions.
HERE ARE RESOURCES PROVIDED BY THE FILM’S PRODUCERS:
HOW CAN CONGREGATIONS RESPOND?
1. Tune in! Check your local PBS station listings for exact dates and times, spread the word, and gather a group at your church or home to watch the film together.
2. Start the conversation. With your community, discuss what you’ve seen together. If the film airs too late for a gathering that night (many stations are showing it at 10pm), meet the next night or soon after, while the film is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
3. Preach it. Use the film to preach about the issues it raises with your congregation in worship. As a denomination, what are our own histories in relation to slavery, racism and economic injustice? How are we called to respond together?
RESOURCES FOR FAITH COMMUNITIES
Visit www.tracesofthetrade.org and www.pbs.org/pov/traces to download a discussion guide for small groups, as well as specific resources for people of faith, including a discussion guide from the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Learn more about actions that churches are taking to address their own legacies of slavery and the ongoing challenges of racism:
Episcopal Church: www.episcopal-life.org/79901_94258_ENG_HTM.htm
Unitarian Universalists: www.uuworld.org/news/articles/112833.shtml
Some anti-racism and racial reconciliation programs:
Mennonite Central Committee
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church
Presbyterian Church USA
Unitarian Universalist Association
Canadian Council of Churches (with links to member church sites)
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have weighed in, as well, with a review of the film.
FROM the DeWolf Family — Still More Helpful Resources:
On Monday, Tom DeWolf, who appears in the documentary, also sent us a couple more helpful links related to this issue and the larger story behind “Traces of the Trade.”