Special Screening of Documentary, Traces of the Trade

“How can we begin to see, name and heal the ongoing wounds of racism in our congregations and communities?”  “Why do most of our congregations, situated in communities with large if not majority populations of people of color, remain disproportionately white?”

The Diocese of West Texas Reconciliation Commission will be offering a series of screenings across the diocese of the award-winning documentary, Traces of the Trade, between March 8th and 29th.  There will be a special screening at Council on Friday at 4:45 pm for anyone interested in hosting a screening in a parish, school or other venue in their community.  Contact Robert Woody (rwoody@churchofreconciliation.org or 210-771-4364) for more information.

Traces of the Trade is designed to create awareness of continuing racism in our churches and culture, and to open the door to further healing and reconciliation.  It tells the story of a prominent Episcopalian family from Bristol Rhode Island, the DeWolf’s, who discover their prominence and privilege came from their ancestors’ leading role in the slave trade.  As a way of coming to terms with their family history, they retrace the commercial cycle of the slave trade – manufacturing rum in Bristol, shipping it to the west coast of Africa to trade for slaves, shipping the slaves to the Caribbean islands to sugar plantations to work or be held until they could be sold in US, and then shipping back to US sugar to make more rum and slaves to be auctioned.

The documentary has been shown on PBS and at many film festivals, and many churches, schools and other venues across the US.  You can view a trailer of the film at http://www.tracesofthetrade.org/view-clips/.

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