SYNOPSES

3-LINE SYNOPSIS

Descendants of slaves and slave owner explore their 260-year-old Shared History at the plantation property where their descendants worked and lived.

125-WORD SYNOPSIS

Descendants of slaves and slave owners of Woodlands Plantation, now the remnants of an antebellum estate in South Carolina, have for generations passed down stories about the on-going relationship between their families.

While independently researching their families’ history, three descendants meet and begin to uncover the mythologies about the old relationship through family interviews and archival evidence.

With an extraordinary collection of historic images and documents, oral histories, as well as family photographs (19th and 20th century), "home movie" film footage (beginning in 1942) and "home video" footage (from 1968 to the present), this program documents the living descendants' efforts to examine the persistence of the relationship and expose the myths that sustained the connection through more than two centuries.

250-WORD SYNOPSIS

What would descendants of slaves and slave owners say to each other if they converged at the historical place of struggle to explore their 260-year-old relationship?

'Shared History,' a one-hour television documentary sponsored by the ETV Endowment of South Carolina and ITVS, provides a keyhole through which viewers can eavesdrop on the conversations and encounters of a group of black and white families who have been connected to each other since before America’s Revolution. Some have never met before; some have known each other for years. They are all connected to Woodlands Plantation, located in Midway, SC, and have agreed to come together at the plantation to talk about the realities of their Shared History for the first time in 260 years.

While independently researching their families' history, three descendants meet and began to uncover the mythologies about the old relationship through family interviews and archival evidence.

With an extraordinary collection of historic images and documents, oral histories, as well as family photographs (19th and 20th century), "home movie" film footage (beginning in 1942) and "home video" footage (from 1968 to the present), this program documents the living descendants’ efforts to examine the persistence of the relationship and expose the myths that sustained the connection through more than two centuries.

'Shared History' personalizes the contemporary views of an American history built on the legacy of slavery. By witnessing the interactions of Americans directly connected to each other through slavery, viewers see the constructed mythologies that made this particular relationship possible. In doing so, they are challenged to examine their personal responsibility in perpetuating or transforming the national mythologies of slavery and race that we all live with today.