Public History and Mass Incarceration: An Interview with Martha Swan

Incarceration as Racial Injustice
The Public Historian
Mary Rizzo
Martha Swan
Saturday, February 1, 2014
peer-reviewed article

Abstract: Nonprofit human rights organization John Brow nLives! uses local and regional history as a tool to raise contemporary questions around racial injustice,inspired by the work of controversial abolitionist leaderJohn Brown. In this interview,founder Martha Swan discusses how John Brown Lives! uses public history,from a series of community conversations around mass incarceration and drug laws to a traveling exhibiton voting rights in nineteenth century New York State, to encourage people to question the narrative of American history, the meaning of freedom,the role of policy in racial issues,and the connections between history and place.  

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