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.