An Educational Documentary About the Prevalence of Slavery in New Jersey

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The Forgotten Story of New Jersey's Enslaved People

"New Jersey is known as The Garden State. We're known for our blueberries, we're known for our corn, we're known for our peaches. But we're not known for the slaves that were here, tilling the soil. We're not known for the whole history of slavery right here.  
Slavery was the underpinning of much of the wealth of New Jersey." 

Beverly Mills 

Co Author of  "If These Stones Could Talk"

The Price of Silence, The Forgotten Story of New Jersey’s Enslaved People
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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."