Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

Kate Youngdahl, Director and Writer
Facilities provided by Stone House Productions, South Norwalk, CT
Recorded in 2000

The Mattatuck Museum, working with its African American History Project committee, investigated the history of an African American man enslaved in a Waterbury household in the 18th century. The museum is the caretaker for Fortune’s remains.

This video introduces some of the team’s initial questions and methods. Over the next several years, the results of this study were presented in
* an exhibit at the Mattatuck Museum
* a website
* a poem commissioned from Marilyn Nelson, Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem
* a school curriculum on slavery in Connecticut developed by the museum’s teacher training institute.

The African American History Project committee: Maxine Watts, Chairman; Audrey Harrell, Ledonia Gray, Albert Walton, Barbara Riddick, Gloria Patterson, Betty Gibson, Lillian Brown (deceased).

Museum staff: Ann Y. Smith, research and exhibit; Marie Galbraith, outreach and program; Raechel Guest, website.

Scholars: Warren Perry, PhD., Mark Mack, PhD., Lesley Rankin Hill, PhD.; Frank Mitchell, PhD.; Michael Park PhD.; Nicholas Bellantoni, PhD.

Funding: Connecticut Humanities Council, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Schlegel Fund of the First Congregational Church of Waterbury, the Waterbury Medical Association, and General Electric


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Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

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