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Professor Speaking About His Research Linking Seed Sack to People Held in Slavery


ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- A professor who tracked the history of an embroidered seed sack to people held in slavery on a South Carolina plantation will speak about his research during a lecture Thursday at Central Washington University.

“Rose’s Gift: New Discoveries about Ashley’s Sack” will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the lobby of Dean Hall near the Museum of Culture & Environment. Dean Hall is located at 1200 Wildcat Way. Parking behind the building is free after 4:30 p.m.

Mark AuslanderMark Auslander, who is associate professor of anthropology and museum studies at CWU, will highlight his discoveries about Ashley’s Sack in this Black History Month lecture.

On display in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the unbleached cotton sack features an embroidered text recounting the slave sale of a 9-year-old girl named Ashley and the gift of the sack by her mother.

Ashley’s identity has been unknown until recently. Auslander’s yearlong research traced Ashley’s Sack, which is on loan from South Carolina’s Middleton Place, from the initial gift during the era of slavery to the present.

The lecture is co-sponsored by CWU Africana and Black Studies.

Visit the Yakima Herald website to read this article in its entirety.

--January 30, 2017