Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Cook Memorial Theater
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Offered in collaboration with Grace Episcopal Church
Join us for a screening of the 86-minute-long film, followed by a facilitated discussion with Constance R. Perry and Dain Perry.
In the feature documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North (2008), Producer and Director Katrina Browne uncovers the story of her forefathers, the DeWolf family of Bristol, RI, who were the largest slave-trading family in US history. The film follows Browne and nine family members on a personal journey of discovery along the Triangle Trade, from Bristol, Rhode Island to slave forts on the coast of Ghana to the ruins of the family’s former plantation in Cuba. This experience brings them face-to-face with their own history, the legacies of New England’s often hidden ties with slavery, and the pivotal role slavery played in the growth of the American economy.
The documentary dramatizes and centers questions that apply to the nation as a whole: What is the legacy of slavery for different constituents? How do we reconcile the complexities of the country’s complicity with and the participation of individual and communities in the enslavement of human beings? What legacies do we inherit as citizens from this history? And what might repair—spiritual and material—really look like and what form could it take?
Producer/Director: Katrina Browne. Co-Directors: Alla Kovgan, Jude Ray. Co-Producers: Elizabeth Delude-Dix, Juanita Capri Brown.
About the Facilitators:
Dain participated in the documentary along with his brother, Jim, and nephew, James. He grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. During the 1970s, he worked for a non-profit agency that promoted reform in the criminal justice system, particularly prison reform. Dain has been a member of his church vestry and has been an active volunteer in his community for many years, including serving on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. Dain and his wife, Constance R. Perry, travel extensively doing screenings of the film at Episcopal parishes.
Constance R. Perry
Constance is a self-employed national consultant, working in economically disadvantaged communities specializing in workforce and community development, and is a skilled trainer and facilitator. She is an active member of the Episcopal Church and sits on a number of diocesan committees. Although born and raised in Boston, Constance is a descendant of slaves in North Carolina. She and her husband, Dain Perry, work together as a team to bring the film to Episcopal congregations and dioceses, as well as to schools and community organizations.