Alumni | Give to BC | Athletics | Fine Arts | Thresher Connect | Search


Film reveals a different truth about the end of slavery in America

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) at Bethel College opensits annual film series with a documentary about slavery in America – after the Civil War.

Slavery by Another Name screens Sept. 13 at 3 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus. The event is free, with donations accepted to support the film series and the work of KIPCOR.

Dr. Galyn A. Vesey, project director for Research on Black Wichita, will lead the talk-back session following the film.

Slavery by Another Name is part of the Created Equal film series, funded by the Bridging Cultures initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.Local partners are Bethel College, Kauffman Museum, KIPCOR, the Mennonite Library and Archives and the Newton Public Library.

Laurence Fishburne narrates the 90-minute documentary that challenges one of America’s most cherished assumptions: that the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 ended slavery in this country.

In fact, new systems of involuntary servitude took the place of chattel slavery, tolerated by both the North and South and lasting well into the 20th century.

The film is based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon.

The documentary recounts how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged in the American South, keeping hundreds of thousands of African Americans in bondage, trapping them in a brutal system that would persist until the onset of World War II.

Based on Blackmon’s research, Slavery by Another Name spans eight decades, from 1865 to 1945, revealing the interlocking forces in both the South and the North that enabled this “neoslavery” to begin and persist.

Using archival photographs and dramatic re-enactments filmed on location in Alabama and Georgia, it tells the forgotten stories of both victims and perpetrators of neoslavery and includes interviews with their descendants living today.

Slavery by Another Name premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the same year in which it was broadcast nationally on PBS.

The film was directed and produced by Sam Pollard with executive producers Catherine Allan and Douglas Blackmon. For more information, see

Discussion leader Galyn Vesey is a Wichita native who was one of the participants in the 1958 Dockum Drugstore sit-ins in Wichita. After an academic career at Alabama A&M University and Cornell University, Vesey returned home for retirement. He was an adjunct instructor in social work policy atBethel College2008-09, also serving as a special assistant to interim Bethel president John Sheriff.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015-16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015-16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.