On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the premiere screening of the historical documentary, North of the Law, will be held at 8 p.m. in the Geneva Room. The 30-minute documentary was produced by the students enrolled in MDSC 303: Introduction to the Social Documentary, fall semester, 2012. The screening is free and open to the public.
The film documents the inspiring courage shown on October 5, 1851 in Syracuse, New York when a committed group of abolitionists rescued Jerry Henry, a self-emancipated slave, from the hands of Federal Marshalls determined to return him to his master.
On that day in 1851, individuals from different classes, races, and genders came together in a carefully planned plot to rescue Jerry and get him away to Canada. Their efforts were aided by the crowd of 2000 who gathered in Clinton Square to protest the seizure of Jerry Henry. Today, a striking memorial to the Jerry Rescue stands at the entrance to Clinton Square.
The documentary uses archival material, voice actors, expert interviews, and costumed re-enactments to trace the dramatic events when citizens defied the Federal Fugitive Slave Law at considerable risk to their own freedom. Those who defied the law were threatened with a charge of treason.
The documentary boasts a star-studded cast of faculty and students: Trevor Bailey, James Dietrich, Stephen Bruening, Patrice Thomas, Kingsley Adarkwah, Alexander Amoateng, Professors George Joseph, Thelma Pinto, Nicola Minott-Ahl, James Henry-Holland, DeWayne Lucas, and Jeffrey Anderson.
The students behind the scenes who researched, filmed, edited, and wrote the script for the documentary were: Trevor Bailey, Jiangtao "Harry" Gu, Kelly Halkyard, Amber Jackson, Hannah Sarokin, Allison Smith, Ariana Vasquez, and Amanda Woods.
Professors Lucas and William Harris provided expert interviews.
This documentary was made possible by a grant from the Center for Teaching and Learning.