Documentary features founders of Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum

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In commemoration of Black History Month, the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners has scheduled a showing of “The Price of Silence,” a locally produced documentary, in partnership with New Jersey Public Television, followed by a panel discussion.

The screening will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the PeopleCare Center for Nonprofits, located at 120 Finderne Avenue in Bridgewater.

“The Price of Silence” is about the forgotten story of New Jersey’s enslaved people and features Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck, residents of central New Jersey who co-founded the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum in Somerset County’s Montgomery Township.

“New Jersey is known as the Garden State,” says author Beverly Mills in the two-part documentary. “We’re known for our blueberries. We’re known for our corn. We’re known for our peaches. But we’re not known for the slaves that were here tilling the soil. We’re not known for the whole history of slavery connected to New Jersey and how slavery was the underpinning of much of the wealth of New Jersey.”

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Mills, her museum co-founder Elaine Buck, and Kristal Langford will be interviewed for the panel discussion moderated by filmmaker Ridgeley Hutchinson immediately after the showing of the documentary.

“This documentary helps to raise awareness about the history of slavery and the impact it had on the lives of people of color, and its lingering legacy today,” said Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Y. Robinson

“By educating people about this dark period in history, we can better understand the struggles and challenges Black people face today.”


The screening has been organized by an Employee Resource Group (ERG) within Somerset County government, with financial support from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.


The screening will feature Part 1: The Price of Silence, The Forgotten Story of New Jersey’s Enslaved People and Part 2: The Price of Silence, The Lasting Impact of Slavery in New Jersey.


The film screening and panel discussion are free, but seating is limited, and advance registration is required. Register online here.


Somerset County offers on its website a comprehensive list of Black History Month events occurring in the county during February.

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