Episode #12 The Slave Dwelling Project with Joseph McGill

There is reallimg_7806y no way that we, as Americans in the 21st century, will ever know what it was really like to experience what slaves did in the Ante-Bellum South. However, we can get closer to understanding it – archival research is a good start. But, as Joe McGill illustrates, the actual slave dwellings, many of which are still standing, offer a great deal of the story – and engaging with the physical artifacts can only add to our understanding. In this episode, Joe explains his Slave Dwelling Project – an effort to educate about the realities of slavery and his campaign to save the places where slaves lived their lives. Joe is also a living historian – recreating a soldier from the famous 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. We talk a great deal about Black men in the Civil War – both North and South.  So if you think about it, this is two-for-one episode. Enjoy!!

We discuss:

  • What Joe expected to find when he embarked on this project
  • The unexpected…and there is always something unexpected…
  • Public reaction to his work
  • The educational opportunities with the project
  • The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and working as a living historian
  • Critics who feel that reenacting glamorizes or trivializes warfare

Joe suggests (and I agree) that we all go out and see The Free State of Jones, he has some great advice for students of history and recommends The Diary of Anne Frank – seeing parallels here with his own work. Please be sure and visit The Slave Dwelling Project online – from there you can find out more about special events and educational opportunities.

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Music by Advent Chamber Orchestra is licensed under Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/

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