Racism and identity discussed from an American historical context and modern day perspective with guests Professor Christy Clark-Pujara and Elden Steele.
Elden Steele was born in Des Moines, Iowa. At age two, he was adopted by an African-American couple in their middle 50s. His parents were devout Christians, hard workers, but who were desperately poor nonetheless. They lived in a one bedroom house in Davenport, Iowa. Elden survived a cruel childhood, prison, and the Vietnam War. Recently, through genealogical testing and analysis completed by a genealogist, he discovered that the biological origin story that he was told was incorrect.
Christy Clark-Pujara is a historian whose research includes northern slavery, emancipation and black freedom prior to 1865. Her dissertation titled “Slavery, emancipation and black freedom in Rhode Island, 1652–1842” argues that the institution of slavery, the process of emancipation and the experience of black freedom in the North was fundamentally shaped by the business of slavery—those businesses that directly supported slaveholding in the Americas—such as the Atlantic slave trade and the West Indian trade. Professor Clark-Pujara’s teaching interests include African American History 1619 to 1865, specifically the construction of race, the origins and systems of slavery and gendered experiences.