Paul Ortiz, the Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, will appear on the PBS show HISTORY DETECTIVES on August 17th.

Above: Paul Ortiz, the Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, will appear on the PBS show HISTORY DETECTIVES on August 17th.

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Paul Ortiz

Head of the CLAS

Paul Ortiz, the Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, will appear on the PBS show HISTORY DETECTIVES on August 17th.

HISTORY DETECTIVES prove once again that an object found in an attic or backyard might be anything but ordinary. Co-host Tukufu Zuberi, traveled to Gainesville last March to piece together a tale of slaves adapting to freedom. Liberia Letters will be one of three HISTORY DETECTIVES segments airing on public television station WUFT-TV/DT on Monday, August 17 at 9 p.m. (rebroadcast on Monday, August 24 at 10 p.m.) WUFT is broadcast on Cox Cable Channel 3 in Gainesville and Cox Cable Channel 5 in Ocala.

Liberia Letters tracks the mystery of old letters found by a South Carolina woman. The scrapbook of handwritten letters from the late 1870s were sent to her great-great grandmother – a freed slave who lived in South Carolina – inviting her to Liberia. Liberia was created in 1847 by freed slaves from the United States who had colonized the region. She thinks her ancestor’s brother, Harvey McLeod, wrote the letters.

Was her family part of the post-slavery exodus to Liberia? Zuberi visits with Dr. Paul Ortiz and Jim Powell of the Alachua County Archives to investigate the author of the letters. Dr. Ortiz discusses the revival of the “Back to Africa Movement” after Reconstruction relating how Florida temporarily offered a post-Civil War haven to former slaves.

The interview with Dr. Ortiz was filmed at Morningside Nature Center Living History Farm. Two other segments during the hour-long program feature a Mussolini Dagger and a N.E.A.R. device from the Cold War.

Contact

Writer

Sue Wagner, WUFT

Photo

Jane Dominguez, CLAS Communications and Outreach

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