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The Wright Museum
Founded in 1965 and located in the heart of Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, t
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on Wednesday, 15 February 2012
in Voices of the Civil War

Voices of the Civil War Episode 1 "The Original Sin" Part 2

FEBRUARY 2012: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes will cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War.  Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

To see the Introduction or Episode 1 Part 1 videos click here.

The American Civil War was one of the most destructive armed conflicts that the United States has ever fought. But, how did this nation, less than one hundred years old in 1865, arrive at the point of Civil War?

In the conclusion to episode 1, "The Original Sin," we travel back to the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. Here we see disunion already brewing over the issue of slavery. Delegates like James Madison, George Mason, and Benjamin Franklin pontificate on the effects of building a new nation on the backs of tyranny.


Shot 1-7,9,10,12,13,16,19,20,23,24,28,29,31,34,37,38,40-43: Courtesy of the Library of Congress, [lc-uszc2-2354, LC-DIG-ds-00120, LC-DIG-ppmsca-21740, LC-USP6-2415-A, lc-uszc2-2354, LC-USZ62-2276, LC-DIG-cwpb-05635, LC-USZ62-90258, LC-DIG-cwpb-03711, LC-USZC6-45, rbpe 00103300, LC-USZ62-67819, LC-DIG-ppmsca-31705, LC-USZ62-2770, LC-USZC4-7216, LC-USZ62 – 16960, rbpe 00103300, LC-DIG-ppmsca-05453, LC-USZ62-89701, LC-USZ62-90398, LC-USZC6-48, LC-USZC4-2520, LC-USZC4-528, LC-DIG-cwpb-05635, LC-DIG-ppmsca-21740, LC-DIG-ppmsca-10874]

Shot 8: Courtesy of South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina,

Shot 11,18,36: From the collections of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, (Schneider Collection)

Shot 15,30,39: Courtesy National Archives, [ARC Identifier 1656604; ARC Identifier 1667751, ARC Identifier 301682]  

Shot 21: White House Historical Association (White House Collection)

Shot 22: Florida Center for Instructional Technology,

Shot 25: Courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society,

Shot 32,35: Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

Shot 33: © Courtesy of the Board of Regents of Gunston Hall

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The Wright Museum

Founded in 1965 and located in the heart of Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. The Wright opens minds and changes lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. This 125,000-square foot museum provides a welcoming, inclusive environment for people of all ages, races, and backgrounds to immerse themselves in the African American experience, and gain a new appreciation for the diversity of our nation. Housing over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials, the Museum features:

· And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture, the Museum's 22,000 square foot, interactive core exhibit, which is the largest single exhibition on African American history in existence

· The Ford Freedom Rotunda and its 65-foot high glass dome; this architectural wonder is two feet wider than the State Capitol dome

· Ring of Genealogy, a 37-foot terrazzo tile creation by artist Hubert Massey surrounded by bronze nameplates of prominent African Americans in history

· Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology, a permanent exhibition focused on S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) concepts for children

· The Children’s Discovery Room, an interactive, multimedia experience for preschool through 3rd grade students

· The Louise Lovett Wright Library and Robert L. Hurst Research Center

· The General Motors Theater, a 317-seat facility for live performances, films and presentations

· A museum store that sells authentic African and African American art, books and merchandise

· Over 200 public events annually including concert performances, theatrical productions, film screenings, lectures, and family and children’s programming. The Museum also serves as a facility for countless private functions including weddings, anniversary parties, baby showers, corporate meetings and conferences, memorial services, and community events.

The Wright Museum serves close to a half million people annually through its exhibitions, programs, websites, and events such as African World Festival.