NEWBURY, N.H. — How does New Hampshire, a state with the motto “Live Free or Die,” confront and understand its participation in slavery, segregation, and the neglect of African-American history? What happens to our identity as residents of this state and as New Englanders when we begin to acknowledge all of our past?
Shadows Fall North, a film produced by the University of New Hampshire’s Center for the Humanities in collaboration with Atlantic Media Productions of Portsmouth, will address those questions and more. The documentary will be presented Friday, June 1, at 7 PM. at The Warner Town Hall at 5 East Main Street. The screening is a joint effort of The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens and the Warner Historical Society.
See the film that highlights the stories of individuals who have been rendered nearly invisible—from men, women, and children laid to rest at the African Burying Ground in Portsmouth, to the novelist Harriet Wilson, to the twenty slaves who petitioned the state legislature for their freedom in 1779, and many more—and the women who brought this history to light, historians and activists Valerie Cunningham and JerriAnne Boggis.
Through on-site footage and interviews, Shadows Fall North reveals how the work of dedicated citizens has been central in the push to make Black history part of New Hampshire’s history. And it asks what it is like for Cunningham and Boggis to live in the state now, long after the era of slavery, long after the fight for Civil Rights, but as issues of race, identity, and belonging continue to arise in the region and in the country.
The screening is free and open to the public. A conversation and Q&A will follow with the filmmakers, Nancy and Brian Vawter of Atlantic Media Productions, and featured historian JerriAnne Boggis.
Read more and see the trailer at blackhistorynh.com. For information on the film and on future screenings, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project was made possible with support from New Hampshire Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more at www.nhhumanities.org.