UNC Expert Interviewed About Ex-Slave Clara Brown

UNC Professor George Junne appears in an award-winning documentary that will be nationally televised to offer his expertise about the film's subject, ex-slave Clara Brown.

The half-hour film is scheduled to air on PBS's To the Contrary between Dec. 30 and Jan. 6.

The documentary tells the story of Brown, a philanthropist who made her fortune running a laundry business for miners in Colorado after being freed as a slave in Kentucky in 1856.

"She was not a businessperson, so how in the world did she do this," Junne says in the trailer promoting the film.

Brown devoted her life in search of her family separated and sold as slaves.

"She would ask every wagon train of black people or single black people that came to town if they knew of her daughter," Junne says, "and she kept on trying and kept on trying. And so finally she was able to find a clue."

A statue of Brown, featuring her next to a slave cabin, now stands at the National Museum of African American History that opened in September in Washington, D.C.

Using her own funds, Denver filmmaker Patricia McInroy created the documentary.

"The historical story of Clara Brown is one of hope and, as human beings, I think we could all use more hope," McInroy says. "She never gave up hope and was open to people from a wide variety of colors and religions. It would be wonderful to see us all try to carry those ideals forward."

The film is the winner of PBS's To The Contrary: All About Women - Women's History U.S. Category.

Tune in

Scheduled dates and times the show will be broadcast:

Colorado Public Televison, 12.1

  • Wednesday, Jan. 4,12:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 5, 5:30 a.m.

Rocky Mountain PBS, Channel 6

  • Wednesday, Jan. 4, 12:30 a.m., KTSC

Check here for more dates and times the show is broadcast: http://www.pbs.org/to-the-contrary/airdates