Film on Slavery Follows New England Family

“Newton resident James DeWolf Perry had heard stories from his family’s distant past, but until he started work on a film about slavery he never knew the full extent of a certain ancestor’s business dealings.

Perry is a direct descendent of James DeWolf, a Rhode Island senator and a slave trader. Dewolf brought over more enslaved Africans than any other person in American History, said Perry.

“It was obviously very difficult,” Perry said about learning the extent of his ancestor’s involvement in the slave trade. “The feelings I felt were grief and sorrow. More than anything else I felt, we as Americans, have a responsibility.”

Perry, along with 10 Americans who are descendants of DeWolf, are featured in “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North.”

The film, which follows the family as it confronts its legacy as a slave-trading dynasty, will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 11, at Boston College Law School. Perry, who was the principle historical consultant for the film, will lead a discussion afterwards….”

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