Stage and Studio on 02/19/13
Stage & Studio presents a Black History Month documentary special...
“Justice Denied” produced by David Freudberg of Humankind Media.
With historians including Columbia University’s Eric Foner, who won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for his book, ‘The Fiery Trial – Abraham Lincoln and AmericanSlavery’, this one-hour special examines the role that U.S. federal courts played in upholding slavery. We consider the notorious Dred Scott ruling, in which the Supreme Court held that blacks have “no rights” that whites must respect, as well as an historic fugitive slave case in Boston that triggered the largest anti-slavery protest the nation had ever seen (includes dramatizations).
More about the program:
It's often described as the worst decision ever handed down by the U-S Supreme Court. It was the only time in American history when a justice resigned from the Court in apparent disgust at a ruling by his colleagues. It prompted numerous proposals that the Supreme Court be abolished. And it greatly inflamed America in the tense period leading up to the Civil War. How could a nation founded on a Declaration that "all men are created equal" permit slavery? Nowhere was this contradiction more stark than in federal courts before the nation erupted into Civil War.
In this documentary, we consider several historical flashpoints. In one case, historians, legal scholars and actors re-create the fugitive slave trial of Anthony Burns, a teenager born as a slave in Virginia. After escaping on a boat to Boston, he was apprehended and forced into federal court where under the Fugitive Slave Act he could be ordered back to slavery. The federal court proceedings that followed his arrest provoked the largest abolitionist protest the nation had ever seen. In the end, Burns, then 20 years old, was marched through the city in chains and deposited on a boat, which would take him back to cruel punishment as a slave. The judge, Edward Loring, later faced strong ostracism and was eventually removed from his other post as a state judge.
Find out more about this documentary and series: http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/program.php?products_id=350