Louisiana Public Broadcasting and the East Baton Rouge Parish Library are hosting an event to discuss the history of the GU272, how to find out if you are a descendant and the role public libraries play in genealogical research.
"Finding Your Roots — GU272 & the Louisiana Connection" will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at the East Baton Rouge Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd.
GU272 refers to the enslaved people sold by the Jesuit priests of Georgetown College (now Georgetown University) in the summer of 1838 to raise money to pay mounting debts.
The sale affected the fate of approximately 272 men, women, and children (who became collectively known as the GU272) and altered the lives of generations of their descendants. The sale raised about $115,000, equivalent to about $3.3 million today.
Researchers have documented 206 people sent to Louisiana who were split among three locations in Iberville, Terrebonne and Ascension parishes.
The GU272 Memory Project and The GU272 Descendants Association were formed with a goal to trace and reconnect the descendants.
The evening will include a short screening of "Finding Your Roots" with Henry Louis Gates Jr., followed by a discussion with a panel of experts including Karran Royal, the executive director of the GU272 Descendants Association.
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at lpb.org/findingyourroots.