Telling the Story of Harlan Joseph: a Special Black History Month Talk


Main Library – Monday, Feb. 26 @ 7 pm. In the days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., violence erupted across the US. The details of how those nights of violence played out in Trenton—the lootings, fires and arrests—are the subject of Purcell Carson’s forthcoming documentary, which focuses on the story of one African-American teenager, Harlan Joseph, who was accidentally shot and killed by a Trenton police officer. This talk offers a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the documentary film – a film that traces the details of Joseph’s life and death – and an opportunity to discuss the way the past still resonates today.

Purcell Carson is a documentary filmmaker and lecturer in Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. As an editor, she’s served as a lead creative partner on award-winning, social issue documentaries, receiving numerous honors, including a 2009 Oscar. For the past four years, Carson’s Princeton seminar, “Documentary Film and the City” has used film to explore urban issues in Trenton.

This program is funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.