Ira Berlin, Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Maryland, describes how the complex interplay of regional and generational factors shaped the development of slavery in the antebellum United States.
James Oliver Horton, the Benjamin Banneker Professor of American Studies and History at George Washington University, and Lois E. Horton, Professor of Sociology at George Mason University, explore the human dimension of the inhumane institution of American slavery and trace the rise of Jim Crow as a new means of racial control.
Historian Philip D. Morgan, Harry C. Black Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, explores the core experiences of slavery itself, including life on the African coast and on sugar plantations in the new world.
In this lecture, historian Philip D. Morgan compares the Lowcountry and Chesapeake slave cultures and reveals much about the way of life of some of the earliest African Americans. Although South Carolina in the eighteenth century was built by slave labor, Virginia only began to "recruit" slaves in large numbers at the beginning of that century. Consequently, there were substantial differences in the black cultures that emerged in the two regions.
NYU Professor of the Humanities Thomas Bender argues that the idea of American exceptionalism has hobbled the study of American history. Bender traces the study of history from the "men of letters" historians of the nineteenth century up to the present, and explains why a more worldly history curriculum would help students to better understand events throughout American history.