SHSMO On Demand

SHSMO has a selection of on demand programs that are freely available to worldwide audiences.

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Program Series

Sowande’ Mustakeem, assistant professor of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis discusses the role of race and gender in a late nineteenth-century murder case. Mustakeem's presentation covers the death of Effie Jackson, a Kansas City woman killed by a rival for the affections of a man; Jackson’s case will serve as a basis to explore laws and institutions designed to police working-class African Americans.

Clarence Lang shares how current events in Black America, such as the recent protests in Ferguson, Missouri that propelled “Black Lives Matter” to national and international attention, continuously change the meanings of past struggles for Black freedom. Lang also showcases how St. Louis is representative of the broader US patterns of race relations, racial oppression, and resistance and share ways that contemporary historical framing can inform (or misinform) present-day, post-1960s movements for black lives.

Dr. Bryan Jack’s talk discusses material from his book, The Saint Louis African American Community and the Exodusters, which examines the thousands of African Americans who fled the post-Reconstruction south in search of political, economic, and social opportunity in the west.

St. Louis native Miller W. Boyd III shares insights from his groundbreaking research into the African American experience in Missouri during the Civil War. In unraveling the traditional motives for service—fighting to destroy slavery in America, securing black citizenship, and preserving the Union—Boyd shows that personal freedom and a chance to financially provide for families were often stronger motivations to enlist.

Lea Vandervelde discusses her most recent book, Redemption Songs: Suing for Freedom before Dred Scott, a groundbreaking study of more than 300 freedom suits in St. Louis. Through the careful evaluation of 12 cases, the book offers insights into the practice of slavery and the lives of those enslaved in Missouri.

Walter Johnson, a professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, uses Dred Scott's personal struggle for freedom and the controversial outcome of his US Supreme Court case as a lens to help illuminate the central role of St. Louis in the imperialist and racial capitalist history of the United States.

Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau professor at the University of Michigan, shares the deeply powerful and very tragic story of Celia, who was purchased by a local man in Callaway County and suffered tremendously for years before she eventually stood up for her basic human right to decide her own fate.

Diane Mutti Burke, author of On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households, examines the lives of African-Americans who were enslaved in Mid-Missouri. The small-scale system of slavery practiced in the region created living and working conditions that compromised the strength of enslaved families and communities and increased the possibilities for physical and psychological abuse, yet, at the same time, enhanced opportunities to resist.

Opening in 2019, the Center for Missouri Studies is a state-of-the-art facility that secures the ability of SHSMO to carry out its work for a second century. This virtual tour includes the art gallery, research center, conservation lab, classrooms, and bookstore.