November 01, 2022

Mary Elliott '99, a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, appears in Netflix's new documentary Descendant. The film follows the descendants of The Clotilda, which was the last known slave ship to transport humans as cargo well after it had been outlawed.

In the documentary, Elliott meets with Joycelyn Davis, a lifelong resident of Africatown, in Washington, D.C. During their meeting, Elliott discusses the process in how she curated the "Slavery and Freedom" exhibit to share the story with all those who viewed it. Through this, she shares the importance of curating the history of Davis' community and its connection to The Clotilda in such a way to resonate with all viewers. Elliott notes in the documentary her understanding and connection to Davis in the importance of sharing and maintaining history, as her family lost everything they had built for themselves in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

You can view a preview of Netflix's Descendant below: