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An Emmy Nominated Documentary About the
Prevalence of Slavery in New Jersey

Episode 3: The Search for Freedom in New Jersey

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Watch The Forgotten Story of New Jersey's Enslaved People

Truehart Productions is pleased to announce that after being aired on NJ PBS, both Parts 1 and 2 of "The Price of Silence" have been nominated for a New York Emmy Award.

"New Jersey, the Garden State, is known for its produce, but not for the enslaved people who tilled the soil. In this two-part documentary, descendants and historians tell their stories and why it was the last northern state to end the institution of slavery."


Part one offers an overview of the state’s history of enslaved people and shared poignant family stories of its earliest freed slaves.


In Episode 2 of the Price of Silence, we look at the Lost Souls Project, which is working to remember and identify African Americans who were forcibly removed from New Jersey and taken to Louisiana and explore the lasting impact of slavery in the state. We also interview singer Danielle Cotton, who discusses her journey as an African American entertainer.

The Search for Freedom in New Jersey

Through the fascinating story of Dr. John A. Kenney, we will illustrate the hardships that were endured by families during that period. The film will then move to the present day revealing the unacceptable fact that there were disparities in health care back then between the Black and white community that still exist in today's health care system.

The Great Migration
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A Documentary in The Making

The project was inspired by Beverly Mills' and Elaine Buck’s book "If These Stones Could Talk: African American Presence in the Hopewell Valley, Sourland Mountain, and Surrounding Regions of New Jersey." The book exposed the prevalence of slavery in New Jersey and tells the compelling story of the authors’ enslaved ancestors.

The documentary will begin with the story of a 13-year-old boy who was taken from his mother’s arms in South Carolina and enslaved in Hopewell, NJ by a Baptist minister. The minister's name was Oliver Hart, and though not related, he was John Hart's minister.  John Hart was a Hopewell resident and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Seen above in The Old School Baptist Church sanctuary, Beverly Mills is being interviewed for the film as she explains how, while researching the book, she learned that the enslaved boy was her Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather.  The boy’s name was Friday Truehart and he would not gain his freedom for another 22 years.

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Help us tell the story of slavery within New Jersey and educate many on the lasting effects within the community today

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"For these innocent people have no other hope. They are, in effect, still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men. Many of them, indeed, know better, but, as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know."  

James Baldwin's letter to his nephew titled

"The Fire Next Time."