A one-day symposium held at the University of Rhode Island on September 28, 2019 investigated the complicated history of the industrial North and the agricultural South through family connections during America's antebellum period. The symposium accompanied an exhibition titled "One American Family: A Tale of North and South," that displayed quilt tops, swatch books, sewing tools, clothing worn by members of the Cushman family, photographs, and watercolors (April 22 - December 6, 2019). The speakers reported recent research that linked families, both white and black, to the Atlantic trade that supported the cotton economy. Speakers also investigated how black Americans, both enslaved and free, dressed to craft an individual appearance.
Submissions from 2019
1. Introduction to “One American Family: A Tale of North and South”, Linda Welters
2. Patches of Resistance on the Badges of Enslavement, Katie Knowles
3. Legacies of Slavery & Freedom: A Family Journey Through the Atlantic World, Keith W. Stokes
4. Understanding Free Blacks' Clothing: A Photo & Print Study, Lynne Zacek Bassett