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February 5, 2013

Colonial Williamsburg’s Feb. 14 Electronic Field Trip Explores Transatlantic Slave Trade

During Black History Month, Colonial Williamsburg’s award-winning interactive Electronic Field Trip series examines the troubling subject of the transatlantic slave trade and stretches beyond the colonial period to 1845 – 38 years after the passage of the 1807 law abolishing the slave trade.

“The Slave Trade,” which airs Feb. 14, explores why the transatlantic slave trade was so difficult to stop, how slave traders circumvented the law and what methods were used by those who worked tirelessly to enforce the new law. The script, written by William White, Colonial Williamsburg’s Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker vice president of productions, publications and learning ventures, follows a series of stories connected by the narration of Sojourner Truth, a woman born into slavery in New York who was later emancipated and worked to abolish slavery.

“Congress had declared that the slave trade was an act of piracy, but still the practice continued because slavery itself had not yet been abolished,” said Frances Burroughs, director of programming. “British and American navies patrolled the coast of Africa in an attempt to end the traffic in human beings. The horrors these ships’ crews witnessed are well documented.”

Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trips are meticulously researched, non-partisan programs that tell the stories of our country’s founding and span a broad range of historical subjects from colonial times to the present. These distance learning programs, written and produced by Colonial Williamsburg, are created especially for grades 4–8. Electronic field trips are broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating public television stations and cable channels across the country.

Each electronic field trip is supported with multi-disciplinary lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for students. These Web-based resources have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and address national standards for civics education and 21st-century skills as well as state standards for social studies, technology and language arts. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions, email or phone in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live televised broadcast. Registered users also may view electronic field trips and use teacher and student resources via the Internet on demand any time during the school year. Participating schools also have continuing access to technical support and teacher tutorials.

For more information about electronic field trips, visit call 1-800-761-8331, or email Colonial Williamsburg’s Electronic Field Trip series is supported in part by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown