A new view of the slave experience | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | March 2, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: February 28, 2018 at 4:33 pm
Charleston County artist Brother Nizar returned to the Colleton Memorial Library on Feb. 27 to present “Drapetomania: An Acrylic Journey Through Anti-Slavery Collective Resistance.”
Nizar’s paintings and lecture offer a new approach to the research, teaching, and study of African history by shifting the main focus from the history of oppression in the southern United States to African efforts to escape by way of strategic alliance with Britain and Spain for the purpose of repatriation to Africa.
Nizar visited the main meeting room of the library on Feb. 15, bringing along the group of paintings he produced which chronicle Harriet Tubman’s efforts to free slaves during the Civil War, in particular The Raid at Combahee Ferry that Tubman led to liberate 750 slaves.
That lecture program was designed for children.
The Feb. 27 program from 6-7:30 p.m. in the main meeting room was designed for adults, although all ages were welcome, according to T.J. Grant, the library’s assistant director and acquisitions librarian.
The program’s title put T.J. Grant in research mode, searching for the meaning of drapetomania.
He learned that it was a word coined by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851. Cartwright theorized that drapetomania was a mental illness that caused black slaves to try and flee captivity. His theory was debunked as a form of scientific racism.