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Slave auction re-enacted in St. Louis to commemorate 150th anniversary of Civil War

Do you find such re-enactments to be healing or hurtful?

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A person portraying a slave stands on the auction block as an auctioneer asks for bids during a re-enactment of a mid-19th century slave auction January 15, 2011 in downtown St. Louis, Mo. Some 150 re-enactors participated in the mock-auction on the steps of the city's Old Courthouse, as the first commemorative event in Missouri marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. With other sesquicentennial events in the South emphasizing "states rights" as the cause of the conflict, organizers in St. Louis said they wanted to stress slavery as the central issue of the war. Before the war, St. Louis, with its location on the Mississippi River, had been a primary hub for the sale and movement of slaves. The U.S. Civil War, which lasted from 1861-1865, resulted in the death of more than 600,000 Americans, more than in all of the country's other wars combined.

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A person portraying a blacksmith inspects a "slave" during a re-enactment of a mid-19th century slave auction Jan. 15, in downtown St. Louis, Mo.

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Slave re-enactor Jannett White is led off in shackes after being "auctioned" during a re-enactment of a mid-19th century slave auction January 15, 2011 in downtown St. Louis, Mo.

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A demonstrator protests ahead of a re-enactment of a slave auction, saying the event was demeaning to African Americans on Jan. 15, in downtown St. Louis, Mo.

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Victoria Thomas sings the African-American slave song "Lord, How Come Me Here?" after taking part in a re-enactment of a mid-19th century slave auction Jan. 15, in downtown St. Louis, Mo.

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Re-enactors embrace after staging a re-enactment of a mid-19th century slave auction Jan. 15, in downtown St. Louis, Mo.