February 16, 2022
07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Campus Events
Henderson #112

"Through Martha's Eyes" - Kansas Territory...and a search for freedom.

Kansas was destined to become a free state, we all know that. Or we know it until we see the bill of sale for the purchase in 1856, by Reverend Thomas Johnson (after whom Johnson County is named), of a "a Negro girl named Martha of a Black complexion aged about fifteen years." It is through Martha's eyes that Charles Cranston's film portrays uncomfortable truths about Territorial Kansas, dealing not only with Johnson's role as a slaveholder but also his operation of the Shawnee Methodist Mission, one of those Indian schools (like Haskell and Carlisle) that sought to "educate" Native Americans by taking the Indian out of them: renaming them and converting them while exploiting their labor. Special discussant for the feature will be Marcia Cebulska, who wrote the film's screenplay, in conversation with Laura Murphy (Sociology).

Dr. Kelly Erby