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In chapter 1 the author records the impact of a traveling exhibit on American slavery at a museum in Richmond, Virginia. The visit is part of a grant enabling faculty at the college where she teaches to expand and create curriculum about race and race history in the United States. Photographs of enslaved Americans, artifacts of instruments of torture, tapes of former slaves interviewed by workers of the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, children’s drawings reminiscent of exhibits in Holocaust museums in Israel and the United States, posters announcing the sale of human beings as well as rewards for their capture—all contribute to a sense of shock: of learning, recognition of culture-wide denial, the horror of this foundational reality of American history, and finally the crucial importance of memory and personal action.

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