MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: September 17, 2020

In the new book, “Sisters In Hate” journalist Seyward Darby sheds light on the new face of the alt-right with an eye-opening account of three women immersed in the white nationalist movement. Also, one initiative currently re-examining our past is the “We Are Sacred” project. Its mission: to help further identify men and women who survived slavery and had their portraits taken nearly a century ago

AIRED: September 17, 2020 | 0:28:29
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM, BARBARA HOPE

ZUCKERBERG, JANET PRINDLE

SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD,

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN

FAMILY, BERNARD AND DENISE

SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON,

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION.

FUNDING FOR "CHASING THE DREAM"

IS PROVIDED BY THE JPB

FOUNDATION.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR "CHASING

THE DREAM" IS PROVIDED BY SUE

AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

>>> WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS," I'M

JACK FORD.

OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS THE

UNITED STATES HAS SEEN A

TROUBLING RESURGENCE OF WHITE

SUPREMACIST HATE GROUPS.

THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER

HAS ESTIMATED SINCE 2017 THERE'S

BEEN SOMETHING LIKE 55% INCREASE

OF THESE WHITE NATIONALIST

GROUPS.

SO ARE SOME OF THE FACTORS THAT

HAVE BEEN DRIVING THIS

RESURGENCE?

ACCORDING TO OUR NEXT GUEST, ONE

OF THE ANSWERS MIGHT BE

SURPRISING TO YOU, AND THAT IS

WOMEN.

JOURNALIST DARBY HAS BEEN

INVESTIGATING THE WHITE

NATIONALIST MOVEMENT FOR YEARS.

NOW SHE'S WRITTEN A NEW BOOK IN

WHICH SHE CHRONICLES THE ROLE

THAT WOMEN PLAY IN THE MODERN

WHITE SUPREMACIST MOVEMENT AND

TRIES TO GET TO THE ROOT OF WHY

THEY'RE ATTRACTED AND HOW THEY

FIT INTO THIS WHOLE SYSTEM.

THE BOOK IS CALLED "SISTERS IN

HATE: AMERICAN WOMEN ON THE

FRONT LINES OF WHITE

NATIONALISM."

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME YOU

TO THE SHOW.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING

ME.

>> IT'S A FASCINATING BOOK.

IT IS EXTRAORDINARILY THOUGHT

PROVOKING AND TROUBLING IN SO

MANY WAYS.

I'M ALWAYS INTERESTED FOR

WRITERS AND FILM PRODUCERS TO

FIND OUT WHAT DREW THEM TO THE

STORY.

IF YOU LOOK AT THE INTRODUCTION,

YOU TALK ABOUT A COUPLE OF CASES

THAT WERE STRIKING AND SHOCKING.

WHAT IS IT THAT DREW YOU TO THIS

QUESTION OF WOMEN IN THESE

MOVEMENTS?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

I THINK FROM A PERSONAL

STANDPOINT I GREW UP IN THE

SOUTH.

MY FAMILY HAS BEEN IN THE SOUTH

FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

SO RACISM AND EXTREMISM ARE

FAMILIAR TO YOU JUST IN TERMS OF

IT'S SOMETHING THAT I GREW UP

HEARING ABOUT.

IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF

THE 2016 ELECTION I, LIKE A LOT

OF PEOPLE, WAS TRYING TO PIECE

TOGETHER IN MY HEAD WHAT

HAPPENED, WHY IT HAPPENED, AND

IN THE COVERAGE OF THE SO-CALLED

ALT RIGHT WHICH WAS REALLY

GAINING STEAM AT THE TIME, THE

MAINSTREAM MEDIA WAS COVERING IT

PRETTY HEAVILY, I NEVER HEARD

WOMEN QUOTED.

I NEVER HEARD WOMEN DESCRIBED.

I ONLY HEARD THE ALT RIGHT

DESCRIBED AS A BUNCH OF ANGRY

WHITE MEN.

THAT STRUCK ME AS PROBABLY AT

LEAST A REDUCED VERSION OF THE

TRUTH.

AND SO I WENT LOOKING FOR THE

WOMEN, AND I FOUND THEM AND

FOUND THIS VERY LONG HISTORY OF

WOMEN'S INVOLVEMENT IN WHITE

NATIONALISM.

>> I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT THE

THREE WOMEN THAT ARE THE FOCAL

POINTS IN THIS.

I THINK IT'S A FASCINATING WAY

TO APPROACH THIS.

WE'LL TALK ABOUT HOW DIFFERENT

THEY ARE AND THE ROLES THEY PLAY

IN A SECOND.

YOU SAID YOU WENT LOOKING FOR

WOMEN TO TALK TO.

HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO FIRST

FIND THE WOMEN AND SECONDLY GET

THEM TO OPEN UP TO YOU?

>> YES, IT WAS NOT EASY TO GET

THEM TO OPEN UP.

THAT'S CERTAINLY TRUE.

FINDING THEM WAS A BIT EASIER

INSOFAR AS THE INTERNET ERA, A

LOT OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE YOUTUBE

CHANNELS, TWITTER FEEDS AND

PARTICULARLY ONES WHO WANT TO

HAVE A PLATFORM AND A VOICE IN

THE MOVEMENT.

THEY WERE EASILY ACCESSIBLE FROM

A SOCIAL MEDIA STANDPOINT.

SO I EMAILED AND SENT DIRECT

MESSAGES TO A LOT OF WOMEN.

I GOT AEFRL ABSOLUTE NOS FROM GO

BECAUSE I WAS PART OF THE

LAMESTREAM MEDIA AND PROBABLY A

FEMINIST, WHICH I AM, AND ANY

NUMBER OF THINGS THEY DISAGREE

WITH.

BUT THERE WERE A FEW WHO DID

AGREE TO SPEAK TO ME.

THAT WAS HUGE, AND IN AT LEAST

ONE CASE ONE OF THEM SERVED AS A

BIT OF A VALIDATING FORCE

BECAUSE SHE TOLD OTHER PEOPLE TO

SPEAK TO ME.

ULTIMATELY BY THE TIME I WAS

DONE REPORTING MY BOOK EARLIER

THIS YEAR, EVEN SOME OF MY MAIN

SUBJECTS HAD CEASED

COMMUNICATION, DECIDED IT WAS

NOT IN THEIR INTEREST.

THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE WAY I WAS

TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THEM AND

CUT ME OFF.

AS A JOURNALIST, I'M SURE YOU

CAN COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND.

THERE WERE DEFINITELY DAYS WHEN

I WONDERED WHAT AM I DOING

WRONG.

I HAD TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND

REALIZE THEM NOT WANTING TO TALK

TO ME IS PART OF THE STORY.

>> CERTAINLY.

>> GIVEN THE STORY YOU'RE

TELLING, NOT TERRIBLY

SURPRISING.

THE STORY THAT YOU'RE TELLING,

YOU FOCUS ON THREE WOMEN,

EXTRAORDINARILY DIFFERENT IN

SPITE OF THE R THEIR LIVES.

>> ONE IS KARINA OLSON.

SHE CAME TO WHITE NATIONALISM

BEFORE THIS CURRENT MOMENT, THE

ALT RIGHT AND FOR CHAN AND

DIGITAL NEO FASCISTS, IF YOU

WILL.

SHE CAME TO IT IMMEDIATELY IN

THE AFTERMATH OF OBAMA'S

ELECTION WHEN THERE WAS A SURGE

IN RIGHT WING CHATTER AND

RECRUITMENT ONLINE.

SHE WAS A PERSON WHO WAS A

SEEKER, HAD HAD SOME TRAGEDY IN

HER LIFE, HAD TROUBLE FINDING

COMMUNITY, FINDING PURPOSE AND

WAS ABLE TO FIND THAT IN THE

WHITE NATIONALIST COMMUNITY.

SHE ULTIMATELY WENT THROUGH THE

MOVEMENT, WAS INVOLVED IN A

COUPLE OF DIFFERENT GROUPS AND

EXITED THE MOVEMENT.

BECAME AN FBI INFORMANT AND

EXITED.

THE SECOND IS AIL LA STEWART WHO

IS BEST KNOWN ONLINE AS RIFE

WITH A PERSON.

SHE WAS WELL KNOWN AROUND

TRUMP'S ELECTION AND THE YEAR

AFTER, SELF-PROCLAIMED FEMINIST,

MOTHER OF SIX WHO REALLY

RADICALIZED IN THE LATE YEARS OF

OBAMA'S PRESIDENCY.

HER WHOLE THING IS MOTHERHOOD,

TRADITIONAL WOMAN HOOD, BEING A

WIFE WITH A PURPOSE, BUT TAKING

TRADITIONAL VALUES AND ENTER

WEAVING THEM WITH A WHITE

NAT

NATIONALIST.

THE THIRD IS LANA LOCK TESTIFY

WHO RUNS SOMETHING CALLED RED

ICE WHICH IS INFO WARS BUT

FURTHER TO THE RIGHT WITH HER

HUSBAND.

SHE WAS SOMEBODY WHO STARTED OUT

IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND SAYS

SHE WAS A MODEL AND WAS SOMEBODY

ALWAYS INTERESTED IN ATTENTION

AND HAD ALSO ALWAYS BEEN DRAWN

TO CONSPIRACY THEORIZING AND SHE

AND HER HUSBAND ULTIMATELY TOOK

RED ICE IN A VERY FAR RIGHT

DIRECTION AND FOCUSED ON ALL THE

CONSPIRACY THEORIES AT THE HEART

OF WHITE NATIONALISM.

>> THE NOTION TO THE RIGHT OF

INFO WARS RAISES INTERESTING

QUESTIONS HERE.

I'M TALKING WITH SAY WAH DARBY

ABOUT HER NEW BOOK ENTITLED

"SISTERS IN HATE: AMERICAN WOMEN

ON THE FRONT LINES OF WHITE

NATIONALISM."

I SUSPECT, IF YOU ASKED A GROUP

OF PEOPLE WHAT IS IT THAT DRIVES

PEOPLE TO THESE GROUPS, NOT JUST

WOMEN BUT ANYBODY, I SUSPECT THE

MAJORITY IS IT WOULD BE THE

IDEOLOGY.

IT DRAWS THEM IN IN SOME FASHION

LIKE A MAGNET.

IN READING WHAT YOU'VE WRITTEN,

THAT DOESN'T SEEM TO BE THE

CASE, YES?

>> IT IS INDEED MORE COMPLICATED

THAN THAT.

A LOT OF PEOPLE GET INVOLVED,

AND THIS IS BORNE OUT THROUGH

SOCIOLOGICAL STUDIES,

PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES.

PEOPLE ARE DRAWN INTO THESE

GROUPS FOR A LOT OF DIFFERENT

REASONS.

SOME OF THEM ARE LOOKING FOR A

COMMUNITY, FOR COMRADERY.

SOME ARE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO

EXPLAIN THEIR PLACE IN THE

WORLD, WHERE THEY FIND

THEMSELVES OR WHERE THEY'VE

LANDED IN LIFE.

SOME ARE LOOKING FOR POWER, AND

THAT CAN MEAN HAVING A PLATFORM,

HAVING A VOICE OR IT CAN MEAN

LITERALLY MAKING MONEY.

SO THERE ARE A LOT OF FORCES

THAT PULL THEM INTO THIS SPACE

OR THAT THEY ULTIMATELY FIND

ATTRACTIVE THAT AREN'T PURELY

IDEOLOGICAL.

THE IDEOLOGY COMES LATER.

THERE'S A QUOTE A SOCIOLOGIST

WROTE I THINK ABOUT A LOT ABOUT

PEOPLE -- THEY SHOW UP ON THE

DOORSTEP OF THIS MOVEMENT AND

THEIR RACISM IS NOT NECESSARILY

ANYMORE VIRULENT THAN A SORT OF

BASELINE OF RACISM IN THE UNITED

STATES.

BUT THEN IT GETS AUGMENTED AND

EXAGGERATED, AND THE WAY I

DESCRIBE IT IN THE BOOK IS THAT

THEIR BELIEFS ARE SORT OF LIKE

MAINSTREAM WHITE AMERICA LOOKING

IN A FUN HOUSE MIRROR.

SO THE IDEOLOGY CAN DEVELOP OVER

TIME.

>> I WAS -- I JUST WANT TO

MENTION THIS BRIEFLY TO GET TO A

QUESTION TO YOU, ABOUT 20 YEARS

AGO, I DID A STORY ON LOOKING

FOR WOMEN AS LEADERS, EMERGING

LEADERS OF HATE GROUPS

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT STRUCK ME

WAS THE CASUALNESS THAT SOME OF

THE WOMEN I TALKED TO WOULD

DESCRIBE NOT JUST HATE, BUT

VIOLENCE ATTACHED TO HATE.

DID YOU FIND SOMETHING SIMILAR?

>> I THINK THAT ONE OF THE

THINGS THAT WOMEN ESPECIALLY IN

THIS SPACE DO IS THEY OFTEN

SPEAK CASUALLY ABOUT EVERYTHING.

THEY HAVE A WAY OF SEEMING VERY

PERSONABLE, VERY RELATABLE.

THEY WANT TO SEEM LIKE PEOPLE

YOU CAN HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH

EVEN ABOUT THE MOST TABOO OR

UPSETTING OF TOPICS.

VIOLENCE IS SUCH AN INTERESTING

QUESTION BECAUSE I HEARD A LOT

OF DIFFERENT WAYS OF WOMEN

SPEAKING ABOUT IT.

SOME WERE ALL FOR IT.

AND OTHERS WERE VERY QUICK TO

SAY I DON'T SUPPORT VIOLENCE

BUT.

I THINK A LOT ABOUT LANA, SHE IN

OUR FIRST INTERVIEW TOGETHER

SAID YOU SHOULD NEVER DENOUNCE

AN EXTREMIST ON YOUR SIDE.

THAT WAS IN THE CONTEXT OF -- WE

HAD BEEN TALKING ABOUT VIOLENCE

AND THE CRIMES PERPETRATED BY

THE FAR RIGHT.

I WAS VERY STRUCK BY THAT

BECAUSE IT SEEMED -- SHE SEEMED

TO BE SAYING, THAT'S NOT

SOMETHING I WOULD ENGAGE IN, BUT

I WOULD ALSO BE HESITANT TO

DENOUNCE IT IF IT ULTIMATELY IS

TO THE SAME ENDS AS WHAT I DO.

SO THAT QUOTE DEFINITELY STICKS

IN MY BRAIN.

>> WHAT ABOUT THE IDEA, YOU

MENTIONED THAT ONE OF THE BIM

YOU TALKED TO EVENTUALLY WALKED

AWAY FROM THE -- LET'S CALL IT A

MOVEMENT, THE OVERARCHING

UMBRELLA TERM FOR IT.

WHAT DID YOU FIND AGAIN IN YOUR

REPORTING AND IN YOUR WRITING

ABOUT THIS NOTION OF BEING ABLE

TO WALK AWAY.

HOW DIFFICULT IT IS AND HOW IT

IS DONE IF SOMEBODY CHOOSES IT.

>> RIGHT.

WELL, I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING

THAT'S CHANGED PRETTY RADICALLY

IN THE DIGITAL AGE BECAUSE ONCE

UPON A TIME, IF YOU WERE A PART

OF A GROUP, THERE WERE

MEMBERSHIP RULES AND MEETINGS

YOU WENT TO.

IN THE DIGITAL ERA YOU CAN BE

PART OF THE MOVEMENT SIMPLY

BECAUSE OF THE CONTENT YOU

ABSORB OR LISTEN TO ONLINE AND

WHAT YOU SAY BACK.

AND THAT'S A DIFFERENT --

WALKING AWAY IS A DIFFERENT

SITUATION THAN I THINK IT ONCE

WAS.

I THINK IN BOTH CASES THE

REASONS THAT PEOPLE DECIDE THIS

IS NO LONGER FOR THEM RELATES IN

SOME WAYS TO THE WAYS THAT THEY

DECIDE THAT IT IS FOR THEM WHICH

IS TO SAY, IT'S NOT THAT THEY --

THE VEIL LIFTS AND THEY REALIZE

THIS IS THE WRONG WAY OF

THINKING ABOUT THE WORLD, I'VE

BEEN SO UNETHICAL.

SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENS.

IT USUALLY IS THAT WHATEVER THEY

WERE GETTING OUT OF THE SPACE,

COMR

COMRADERY, POWER, MEANING, THEY

FEEL LIKE THEY'RE NOT GETTING IT

ANYMORE.

NOT EVEN SUDDENLY, IT CAN BE A

GRADUAL PROCESS.

THE REASONS FOR LEAVING ARE VERY

INDIVIDUALIZED AND FOR LACK OF A

BETTER WORD, SELFISH.

PEOPLE NEED TO FEEL -- TO LEAVE.

IT'S NOT NECESSARILY FOR SOME

HIGH IDEALISTIC REASON.

WE LIKE TO THINK THAT IS THE

CAUSE BECAUSE THEN THEY COULD BE

REASONED FOR DECIDING TO LEAVE

THE SPACE, BUT THAT DOESN'T WORK

VERY WELL.

>> LESS THAN A MINUTE SO A QUICK

QUESTION FOR YOU.

WHAT SURPRISED YOU THE MOST

THROUGH YOUR REPORTING?

>> THE MENTAL GYMNASTICS THAT

PEOPLE ENGAGE IN TO JUSTIFY THE

FALSEHOODS AND CONSPIRACY

THEORIES IN THIS MOVEMENT,

WHETHER IT'S WOMEN SAYING IT'S

NOT A MISOGYNISTIC MOVEMENT,

WHICH IT IS, AND THEN FINDING

WAYS TO SORT OF CONNECT DOTS TO

PROVE THAT.

OR SEEING SOMETHING THAT'S A

BLATANT LIE BUT FINDING WAYS TO

SAY IT'S ACTUALLY TRUE.

SO JUST THE MENTAL GYMNASTICS

WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS REALLY

SURPRISING.

>> WELL, IT'S A FASCINATING

BOOK, A POWERFUL BROOK, THOUGHT

PROVOKING BOOK CALLED "SISTERS

IN HATE: AMERICAN WOMEN ON THE

FRONT LINES OF WHITE

NATIONALISM."

SARAH DARBY, THANK YOU FOR

JOINING US.

CERTAINLY ENJOYED THE

CONVERSATION.

HOPEFULLY WE'LL TALK AGAIN SOON.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> TAKE CARE NOW.

>>> WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

I'M JACK FORD.

AMID OUR ON GOING NATIONAL

RECKONING OVER RACIAL INJUSTICE,

THERE'S BEEN A PUSH TO BETTER

UNDERSTAND THIS COUNTRY'S

COMPLICATED HISTORY WHEN IT

COMES TO RACE.

HISTORIANS HAVE ENGAGED IN THESE

CONVERSATIONS FOR YEARS.

THEIR WORK HAS TAKEN ON RENEWED

IMPORTANCE AFTER GEORGE FLOYD'S

DEATH AT THE HANDS OF

MINNEAPOLIS POLICE AND THE

UNREST THAT HAS FOLLOWED.

ONE INITIATIVE CURRENTLY

REEXAMINING OUR PAST IS THE

HASHING THE SACRED TO THE MEMORY

INITIATIVE.

ITS MISSION TO HELP FURTHER

IDENTIFY MEN AND WOMEN WHO

SURVIVED SLAVERY AND HAD THEIR

PORT RATS TAKEN SO MANY YEARS

AGO.

THESE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE POSTED

ONLINE AND ACCOMPANIED BY A

SIMPLE QUESTION, DO YOU KNOW

THESE MEN AND WOMEN?

FOR MORE NOW ON THE EFFORTS TO

ANSWER THAT VERY QUESTION AND

THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING

THIS OFTEN UNTOLD ASPECT OF OUR

HISTORY, WE ARE JOINED BY THE

PUBLIC HISTORIAN BEHIND THIS

PROJECT, SANDRA ARNOLD IS THE

CREATOR OF #SACREDTOTHEMEMORY.

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE HER

JOINING US TONIGHT.

WELCOME TO YOU.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> SO LET'S START WITH YOUR

INTEREST IN THIS PROJECT.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU, WHAT DREW YOU

TO IT?

>> WELL, IT WAS ACTUALLY THE

DISCOVERY OF THE FACT THAT THE

PHOTOGRAPHS EXISTED AND THE

DISCOVERY THAT, ALONG WITH THE

WRITTEN ACCOUNTS OF THE MEN AND

WOMEN THAT WERE INTERVIEWED BY

THE WRITER'S PROGRAM OF THE

WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION

THERE WERE ACTUALLY PHOTOGRAPHS.

THAT WAS KIND OF THE BIRTH OF

IT.

WHEN I STARTED KIND OF EXPLORING

THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND EXPLORING

THE WRITER'S PROGRAM, I LEARNED

THAT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAD

ATTEMPTED TO CONTACT SOME OF

THESE MEN AND WOMEN WHO WERE

PHOTOGRAPHED, AND UNFORTUNATELY

N

THEY WEREN'T SUCCESSFUL.

THAT'S WHAT INSPIRED ME.

I WAS VERY TOUCHED BY THE

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS'S EFFORTS TO

ACTUALLY DO THIS.

I DON'T KNOW IF THE GENERAL

PUBLIC ACTUALLY KNOWS THAT THAT

WAS ATTEMPTED.

I THINK OBVIOUSLY MANY PEOPLE

KNOW ABOUT THE WORK PROGRESS

ADMINISTRATION AND ALL ITS

VARIOUS PROJECTS INCLUDING THE

WRITER'S PROGRAM.

BUT TO KNOW THAT THERE WAS AN

ATTEMPT TO ACTUALLY LOCATE THE

INDIVIDUALS AFTER THE PROGRAM,

I'M NOT SURE IF PEOPLE KNOW

THAT.

I KNOW I DIDN'T KNOW IT.

THAT'S WHAT ACTUALLY GAVE --

THAT'S WHAT INSPIRED ME AND GAVE

BIRTH TO THE PROJECT -- TO MY

WORK.

>> TALKING ABOUT THOSE EFFORTS

AGAIN, YOU MENTIONED THE WPA AND

THE PROJECTS MANY, MANY DECADES

AGO, WHY ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC THAT

NOW THERE MIGHT BE A BETTER

PROSPECT FOR FINDING OUT THE

IDENTITIES OF THESE INDIVIDUALS?

>> WELL, I'M VERY OPTIMISTIC

ABOUT THE FACT THAT PEOPLE ARE

INTERESTED IN SLAVERY.

I THINK THAT THERE'S AN

ASSUMPTION THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT.

I THINK THERE'S AN ASSUMPTION,

PARTICULARLY -- THAT CHILDREN

ARE NOT INTERESTED IN SLAVERY,

YOUNG PEOPLE, YOUNG STUDENTS.

BUT ALL OF IT IS SIMPLY NOT

TRUE.

I THINK PHOTOGRAPH IS A MEDIUM

THAT 21st CENTURY PEOPLE CAN

CONNECT TO, WILL BE VERY HELPFUL

IN HELPING PEOPLE TO CONNECT TO

IT.

I THINK THE INTEREST COMBINED

WITH THE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS, I

THINK THERE MIGHT BE AN

OPPORTUNITY FOR THE LIBRARY OF

CONGRESS'S ATTEMPTS TO ACTUALLY

BE COMPLETED.

THAT'S HOW I KIND OF SEE MY

WORK.

>> I WOULD SUSPECT THAT THE

OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF PEOPLE

WOULD BE SURPRISED, MAYBE EVEN

ASTONISHED TO KNOW THESE

PHOTOGRAPHS ACTUALLY EXIST, THAT

THESE PEOPLE HAD BEEN SLAVES

DURING -- PROBABLY MANY OF THEM

FOR THE MAJORITY OF THEIR LIVES,

AND HERE THEY'RE BEING

PHOTOGRAPHED NOW IN FREEDOM.

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND IN TERMS OF

THAT LEVEL OF SURPRISE?

>> WELL, I'LL START WITH MY OWN

SURPRISE.

I THINK THAT I'VE BEEN

SURPRISED -- I'VE READ SOME OF

THE WRITTEN ACCOUNTS THAT HAVE

BEEN ACCOMPANIED THE

PHOTOGRAPHS.

I'VE LEARNED A LOT BY READING

THOSE.

I WOULD ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO READ

THEM.

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS

THOSE AND THEY'RE ONLINE.

PEOPLE CAN READ THEM IF THEY

WANT TO.

I THINK WHAT I FOUND MOST

SURPRISING ABOUT SLAVERY IN

GENERAL, BUT PARTICULARLY WITH

ANY WORK OF SLAVERY, WHETHER

IT'S THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS OR

THE WPA OR ANY PROJECT, EVEN

THOUGH I'M OPTIMISTIC THAT

PEOPLE WILL CARE ABOUT

UNDERSTANDING SLAVERY, I STILL

THINK UNFORTUNATELY THERE'S A

BELIEF THAT'S A DISTANT HISTORY

AND THAT IT'S SOMETHING THAT

REALLY SHOULDN'T CONCERN US.

I THINK THAT'S BEEN PART OF MY

SHOCK I THINK IN SOME OF IT.

>> YOU MENTIONED THAT THERE ARE

SOME NAIR TIS, SOME INTERVIEWS

THAT HAVE BEEN PRESERVED ALSO.

HAVE THEY BEEN HELPFUL TO YOU IN

YOUR RESEARCH, DO THE INTERVIEWS

GO INTO ANY GREAT DEPTH OF

DETAIL?

>> THEY'VE BEEN SOMEWHAT

HELPFUL.

MY FOCUS IS THE PHOTOGRAPHS.

OBVIOUSLY GETTING ANY TYPE OF

STORY BEHIND A PHOTOGRAPH IS

ALWAYS HELPFUL IN INTERPRETING

THE PHOTOGRAPH.

I THINK THE NARRATIVES -- TO BE

HONEST, I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO

READ ALL THE NARRATIVES.

MY FOCUS AND MY PURPOSE AND WHAT

I'M DOING, IT'S REALLY THE

PHOTOGRAPHS THAT ARE THE FOCUS.

AND THE PHOTOGRAPHS -- THE

PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE WPA -- THE

WPA, THE WORK PROGRESS

ADMINISTRATION, ONE OF THE

THINGS THAT I JUST ADMIRED ABOUT

MR. FDR IS THE FACT THAT THEY

FELT THAT ARTISTS SHOULD BE

INCLUDED IN EVERYONE'S CONCERN

ABOUT EVERYONE EATING AND HAVING

EMPLOYMENT, AND THE PHOTOGRAPHS

ACTUALLY SPEAK BY THEMSELVES

WITHOUT THE NARRATIVES.

>> ONCE AGAIN, I'M SPEAKING WITH

SANDRA ARNOLD, THE PUBLIC

HISTORIAN BEHIND #SAKE

REDTOTHEMEMORY INITIATIVE.

WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THE

PHOTOGRAPHS, BUT I KNOW THERE

ARE ACTUAL RECORDINGS, VOICE

RECORDINGS BY SOME OF THESE

PEOPLE.

I WANT TO ASK YOU BOTH AS AN

HISTORIAN AND ALSO AS A WOMAN

WHO WAS A DESCENDANT OF PEOPLE

WHO HAD BEEN ENSLAVED IN THIS

COUNTRY, WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL

REACTION WHEN YOU HAVE THE

CHANCE TO LISTEN TO THESE

RECORDINGS, THE VOICES OF PEOPLE

WHO HAD ACTUALLY LIVED THEIR

LIVES AS SLAVES.

>> THEY ACTUALLY JUST SUPPORT

THE FACT THAT SLAVERY IS NOT A

DISTANT HISTORY.

THESE ARE INDIVIDUALS THAT

RECENTLY LIVED, AND TO HAVE A

RECORDING OF THEM SPEAKING, A

RECORDING OF THEM EXPRESSING

THEMSELVES, THEY HAVE A

PHOTOGRAPH OF WHAT THEY LOOKED

LIKE, IT JUST SUPPORTS THE FACT

THAT SLAVERY WAS NOT A DISTANT

HISTORY.

>> WHEN -- I KNOW THAT PART OF

WHAT YOU'RE DOING, ALSO, AND

THIS COMES BACK TO SOMETHING YOU

MENTIONED A FEW MOMENTS AGO, ONE

OF THE AREAS THAT YOU'VE BEEN

FOCUSED ON IS ENGAGEMENT,

CONVERSATIONS, IF YOU WILL,

LEARNING CONVERSATIONS WITH

YOUNG PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY

CHILDREN.

HOW DO YOU FEEL THESE

PHOTOGRAPHS ARE GOING TO BE

HELPFUL IN TERMS OF MOVING THOSE

CONVERSATIONS FORWARD?

>> I THINK THE PHOTOGRAPHS CAN

BE VERY, VERY HELPFUL.

I THINK I'VE HAD MY OWN

STRUGGLES WITH BELIEVING THAT

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE

INTERESTED IN SLAVERY.

WHAT ACTUALLY BROKE THAT FOR ME

WAS GOING TO THE UNITED NATIONS

A FEW YEARS AGO.

I WAS INVITED TO SPEAK TO A

GROUP OF STUDENTS -- ACTUALLY A

LARGE GROUP OF STUDENTS.

THEY HAVE SOMETHING EVERY YEAR

TO REMEMBER THE TRANSATLANTIC

SLAVE TRADE.

I WAS ASKED TO MODERATE A

STUDENT CONFERENCE, AND THIS WAS

A GLOBAL STUDENT CONFERENCE.

THEY HAD STUDENTS THAT WERE

WEBCAST TO THE UN FROM DIFFERENT

COUNTRIES.

ALL OF THESE COUNTRIES WERE

ACTUALLY COUNTRIES THAT HAD BEEN

AFFECTED BY THE TRANSATLANTIC

SLAVE TRADE.

AND THE STUDENTS WERE ALL MOSTLY

MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL

STUDENTS, AND THEY WERE HUNGRY

FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF SLAVERY.

THEY WERE HUNGRY FOR THE

KNOWLEDGE OF THE SLAVE TRADE.

THEY WANTED TO UNDERSTAND THE

SLAVE TRADE.

THEY WANTED TO UNDERSTAND

SLA

SLAVERY.

THAT TOUCHED ME WHEN I WAS

THERE, BUT I THINK

PHOTOGRAPHS -- IF I LOOK BACK ON

IT, IF I HAD PHOTOGRAPHS TO

ACCOMPANY MY -- ACCOMPANY ME

WHILE I WAS MODERATING THE

CONFERENCE, I'M SURE THAT THEY

WOULD HAVE -- IT WOULD HAVE BEEN

HELPFUL.

IT WOULDN'T SHOCK ME IF AFTER

THE CONFERENCE -- AFTER THE

STUDENT CONFERENCE THAT THEY

WENT AND PROBABLY FOUND THE

PHOTOGRAPHS ANYWAY.

BUT I THINK PHOTOGRAPHS ARE VERY

IMPORTANT TO ANY HISTORIAN

REGARDING ANY SUBJECT, BUT

PARTICULARLY TO SLAVERY.

>> CERTAINLY, YOU SAY

PERSONALIZES IT, HUMANIZES IT.

I KNOW YOU MENTIONED WHEN WE

WERE TALKING ABOUT IT, A PROJECT

THAT STUDENTS WERE DOING, IN

TERMS OF TRYING TO BETTER

UNDERSTAND THE NOTION OF SLAVERY

AND IT HAD TO DO WITH THE NOTICE

FOR ESCAPED SLAVES.

TELL ME ABOUT THAT.

>> IT WAS SIMILAR.

IT DID NOT INVOLVE PHOTOGRAPHS.

I THINK ASKING YOUNG PEOPLE TO

PUT THEMSELVES IN THE PLACE OF

AN ANOTHER PERSON, IT OBVIOUSLY

HELPS THEM TO RELATE.

IT HELPS THEM TO UNDERSTAND AND

HUMANIZE ANOTHER PERSON, AND I

THINK IT ACTUALLY HELPS THEM TO

HUMANIZE SLAVERY.

AND I WAS VERY POUD OF THEM

ACTUALLY.

I REALLY WAS.

THEY WERE -- I DIDN'T EXPECT TO

HAVE MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH

SCHOOL STUDENTS COMING UP TO ME

TREATING ME LIKE I'M A ROCK STAR

OR A CELEBRITY BECAUSE I GAVE

THIS INTERESTING TALK ON

SLAVERY, BUT THAT'S HOW THEY

TREATED -- THEY DIDN'T TREAT ME

LIKE I WAS THE SUBJECT.

THEY WERE APPRECIATIVE OF THE

SUBJECT.

THEY WERE APPRECIATIVE THAT I

HAD ACTUALLY CAME TO TALK TO

THEM ABOUT IT.

AGAIN, I WAS VERY PROUD OF THEM,

BUT IT ACTUALLY ENCOURAGES ME

ABOUT -- REGARDING THE FUTURE OF

THE EDUCATION OF SLAVERY, AT

LEAST IN OUR COUNTRY.

>> A LITTLE LESS THAN A MINUTE

HERE.

I WANTED TO MAKE SURE OUR

VIEWERS KNOW TO GO TO

METROFOCUS.ORG AND THEY'LL BE

LINKED WITH THE SITE AND HAVE A

CHANCE TO LINK AT THE

PHOTOGRAPHS THEMSELVES.

ANY SUCCESS SO FAR IN

IDENTIFYING THESE FOLKS.

I HAVE TO CONTACT THE LIBRARY OF

CONGRESS.

THE WAY THE INITIATIVE IS

CREATED, IF ANYONE KNOWS ANY OF

THE MEN AND BIM WHOSE

PHOTOGRAPHS ARE PART OF THE

INITIATIVE, THEY'RE TO CONTACT

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.

I JUST RECENTLY STARTED IT AND I

HAVEN'T HAD A CHANCE TO CONTACT

THEM TO SEE HOW IT'S GOING.

I'M POSITIVE IT'S GOING TO GO

WELL AND IS GOING WELL.

>> ONCE AGAIN, SANDRA ARNOLD, IT

IS #SACREDTOTHEMEMORYINITIATIVE.

GOOD LUCK WITH IT.

WE'LL CHECK BACK WITH YOU.

YOU TAKE CARE.

>> THANK YOU.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> BYE NOW.

>>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE

POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR

WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND

SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING

ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM, BARBARA HOPE

ZUCKERBERG, JANET PRINDLE

SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD,

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN

FAMILY, BERNARD AND DENISE

SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON,

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION.