FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2018 -- Did you know that Wall Street got it foundation forged in the slave trade? This fact is reiterated in Frances Causey and Maureen Gosling's documentary about how the slave owner mentality of the South is deeply rooted ton today's "White Privilege" society. Where Wall Street is right now was a market for human trade. It continued as a place to finance various aspects of the slave trade from insurance to ship building.


Causey, a daughter of the south whose family is decended from Edmund Pendleton, the first President of the Virginia Committee of Safety who recommended breaking from Britain - not because of Britain's overbearing policies, but because if they remained part of Britain, they would have to abolish slavery.

From there the film follows the politics of slavery and the dynamics of oppressing people of color using techniques developed and long used in the South. There is a comparison and contrast to the automatic freedoms freed slaves received in Canada from Governor James Douglas of British Columbia.


With freed Negroes fleeing to Canada, they had actually made the human trade more valuable. Especially since there was very little policing of the "new" emancipated states.


Causey's story departs from being a self discovery project to a rehashing of history that has been told many times to no avail. Contributing historians Jody Allen, Gerald Horne, John Powell, and Leon Litwack add the obligatory professorial references. But the more they are referenced the further away from the original theme of the film drifts.


There could have been a correlation between British Columbia and Washington State, whose first meaningful politician was also a person of color. But instead it fasts forward to the incidences in Missouri, New York City and other sites.


"The Long Shadows" isn't a bad documentary about the long term effects of slavery and how the mentality festers even today; however, it tends to rehash a familiar story and loses sight of the original purpose.   -- GRADE B --   GEOFF BURTON