“Stories from Stagville”: Exhibit Features Collaborative Work by Durham 5th Graders and Duke Undergrads

Image from LTP exhibit

Video still featuring Daijon McCathern. iMovie made by Daijon McCathern, Javae Pollard, Takayla Harris, Tristan Lopez, and William Jackson.

A new exhibit on the Duke University campus showcases work made by fifth-grade students in Lisa Lord’s classroom at Club Boulevard Humanities Magnet School in Durham, North Carolina, based on their yearlong study of Historic Stagville, which contains the remnants of one of the South’s largest pre-Civil War plantations. The fifth graders worked with Duke undergraduates from Literacy Through Photography, a class at the Center for Documentary Studies taught by Katie Hyde. Through iMovie stills and quotations, original writing, and archival materials, Stories from Stagville features the final product of this collaboration; the students’ powerful expressions and poignant writings illustrate their complex questions and discoveries.

Stories from Stagville
May 10–July 7, 2013

Lilly Library, Duke University East Campus
1348 Campus Dr., Durham, North Carolina
Map and directions

The Club Boulevard students made multiple visits to the historic plantation site in Durham and also studied primary historical documents including the personal letters of the Stagville plantation owners; photographs; and interviews with surviving ex-slaves collected in the 1930’s by the Federal Writers’ Project of the WPA. Each fifth-grader then wrote about the life of one enslaved person through multiple perspectives—that of the enslaved person, that of a friend, and that of a slave owner. The Duke undergraduates helped the students video-record their performances as they spoke their historical fiction. Teams of students then edited and sequenced their material to create iMovies.

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