Slater Memorial Museum offers preview of ‘The John Fox Side’ March 24


NORWICH, Conn. – Slater Memorial Museum of Norwich Free Academy will present the latest free, in-progress screening of a documentary series on the village of Slatersville next month.

The screening is the seventh of its kind, an early look at an eight episode series by North Smithfield-based filmmaker Christian de Rezendes scheduled to premiere on Rhode Island PBS next year.

In March, the director will showcase an exclusive preview of the series segment, “The John Fox Side,” profiling Norwich’s John Fox Slater and how the story of Slatersville extended into Connecticut. The piece, offered by the museum via Zoom, features behind-the-scenes elements with de Rezendes.

Interviews and expert analyses will show how John Fox Slater developed his industrial enterprises alongside the Rhode Island sector founded by his uncle, Samuel Slater, and his father, John Slater.

“The John Fox Side” explores the cultural influence of the Industrial Revolution in New England and the impact on the African American community of these economic changes, according to a release by the director. Also discussed is the impact of the “John F. Slater Fund for the Education of Freedmen” on educational opportunities for African Americans and historically black colleges and universities.

The screenings, originally held in-person as a means to build interest and knowledge of the upcoming series, moved online following the start of the pandemic last year.

The complete series, dubbed Slatersville, America’s First Mill Village, was originally scheduled to debut on PBS this fall, but the premiere has also been delayed due to COVID-19.

A screening of “The John Fox Side” will take place on Wednesday, March 24 starting at 1 p.m. The program is recommended for participants ages 12 and up and participants must register here.

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