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The New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center in Auburn.

The origin of racial stereotypes will be one subject of a talk Thursday, Nov. 14, at the New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center in Auburn.

The talk will be presented by Robert E. May, professor emeritus of history at Purdue University and author of "Yuletide in Dixie: Slavery, Christmas, and Southern Memory." May will explain how the lingering beliefs that southern slaveholders treated slaves humanely, and that slaves were content with being in bondage, are not based in reality. Instead, May will argue, southern fiction and memoir writers honed these stereotypes after the Civil War, as well as the stereotype that slave owners lavished slaves with feasts and presents at Christmastime.

The talk will begin at 7 p.m. at the center, 25 South St., Auburn.

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Admission to the talk is $5 for the public and free for members of the Seward House Museum, which is presenting the talk with the center. Reservations are suggested.

For more information, visit sewardhouse.org or call (315) 252-1283.

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