UK Happenings

Black History Month Event Explores Kentucky Slave History

photo of "Captive" poster
headshot photo of Elizabeth Lawson as Charlotte Dupuy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2018) — As part of Black History Month, several University of Kentucky organizations will host a Kentucky Humanities Council’s presentation of “Captive: Suing for Freedom,” the real story of a slave of a prominent Lexington leader, beginning 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, in White Hall Classroom Building Room 110. The event is free and open to the public.

“Captive: Suing for Freedom” is a one-act play chronicling the story of Charlotte Dupuy, a Kentucky slave of Henry Clay. The play will share Dupuy’s dangerous attempt to gain her freedom by suing her politically-connected master for the freedom of her children and herself. To read more of Dupuy’s story, visit the Kentucky Humanities Council website at

Dupuy will be portrayed by Elizabeth Lawson, a multicultural education specialist from Lexington. Lawson, a gerontology graduate of St. Edward’s University, specializes in early American, African-American and Kentucky history. She seeks to motivate and encourage people of all cultural backgrounds through her work.

The program with Lawson will share Dupuy’s story while making a connection to life in Kentucky and the challenges faced in modern day slavery. The presentation will last 30 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A. This event is being presented to provide a safe race-related conversation and to offer resources to those interested in taking the next step in their own ethnic journey.

"Captive" is made possible by the following organizations and offices: Cru, Office for Institutional Diversity, Hillel, Reformed University Fellowship, Chi Alpha, UK Baptist Campus Ministries, Campus Outreach, Navigators and St. Augustine’s Chapel.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue