Forks of the Roads informational displays set up in the Student Union building

Friday, May 19, 2017

Northeastern Illinois University’s Main Campus will host Forks of the Roads Enslavement Markets, a nationally acclaimed traveling exhibition, through Sept. 15. The exhibit tells the story of the history of America’s internal chattel slave trading in the Lower Southwest.

Curated by Friends of the Forks of the Roads Society, Inc. in Natchez, Miss., the exhibition details facts about the largely untold history of domestic enslavement and trafficking in America. Forks of the Roads is an area east of Natchez’s city center where three roads intersect, and where slave markets flourished from 1833 until the Union occupation in 1863.

Located on the second floor of the Student Union building, the Forks of the Roads exhibit will be on display through Sept. 15. An exhibition opening is planned for 2 p.m. June 7.

Project Success Director Pinkey Stewart, along with Student Union and Event Services Director Kyle Burke, coordinated the exhibition’s arrival at Northeastern.

Stewart said that hosting Forks of the Roads is a demonstration of Northeastern’s culture of diversity and inclusion, and exposes students, faculty and staff to an important part of American history and the vital role that African Americans played in shaping the nation.

“While this might be viewed by some as a painful period in our history, it also is a testament to perseverance and triumph in the most dire circumstances,” she said.

Project Success will be facilitating a series of workshops during the months of June and July, in conjunction with the Forks of the Roads Touring Exhibition. The workshops focus on the African American experience, tying the exhibit to modern-day issues. All workshops will take place in FA 107.
June 21, noon: Inequalities of African American Males in the Prison System and Its Connection to Slavery
July 5, 12:30 p.m.: Poverty, Inequality, History: Racial Polarization in Higher Education and Its Impact on African American Academic Achievement
July 19, 12:30 p.m.: Re-Engineering Your Roads to ACADEMIC Success
July 25, 1 p.m. - The Realization of the Effect of the Enslaved African Americans on the Black Family Household Today