Speaker * Author * Film Maker * Curator Diversity Facilitator/Trainer
Gwen Ragsdale is passionate about history, particularly history related to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. As co-curator of Lest We Forget Slavery Museum in Philadelphia, PA. she is surrounded by hundreds of authentic slavery artifacts; including iron shackles, manacles and other forms of ironware used to restrain and confine enslaved Africans throughout decades of chattel slavery here in America and beyond. Also included in the LWF collection are rare Bill of Sale documents that reveal how human beings were bought and sold like personal property along with objects from the Jim Crow period that reflect negative images of African Americans and numerous other related items. She facilitates guided museum tours and researches and writes the contextual panels that accompany the many exhibits.
It was her research that led to her writing “PECULIAR RELATIONSHIPS”; a fictional, historic novel that explores the evolving relationships between black and white women from slavery to present day. Throughout her book she aptly weaves stories which include historic events and incorporates several LWF artifacts, making her book even more compelling. Each chapter has different story lines and colorful characters that provide suspenseful, first-person narratives all of which lead up to an explosive cliffhanger ending. She hopes her timely novel will encourage open and honest dialogue about race, gender and recognition of female differences as well as their many similarities.
Gwen also produced two award winning documentary films; “Lest We Forget” and “My Slave Sister Myself”. Both films have won numerous national and international “Best Documentary Awards” including Martha’s Vineyard/HBO and New York and Toronto Film Festivals. Several schools and universities have incorporated her films into their studies as a tried and proven teaching tool for diversity. She uses her natural story-telling ability to keep her audiences engaged during book readings and film screenings.
Her mantra is: WE MUST REMEMBER THE LEGACY OF SLAVERY- “LEST WE FORGET”
To schedule a Speaking Engagement, Film Screening, Book Reading/Signing Museum Tours and LWF traveling slavery exhibit contact: 215-205-4324