Whew!! How long has it been folks? Too long, I know!! But life happens and I have been busy taking care of matters of the home, and that is a priority that many of you should be able to understand.
So what’s been going on good people? Anything new in your neighborhoods that you’d like to point out to the masses? I have a few things I want to mention and draw your attention to. First on the list is The Cooking Gene and The Southern Discomfort Tour. If you don’t know, the Tour has started and Michael and the gang have already made waves in North Carolina. The Herald Sun did a wonderful write up of the first stops that you can read here and hopefully I’ll be joining Michael and crew soon. We can’t thank all of the supporters and donors enough for what they’ve done to ensure this tour did not just stay an idea, but instead became a wonderful reality. Let’s continue to support Michael with positive thoughts, any assistance in research that may be needed and just coming out to see us if we are in your neck of the woods.
The other thing I want to point out to you is if you are in Maryland, and anywhere near Historic Sotterley Plantation, please go and check the place out. I know I have already written about how amazing they are with discussing the legacy of slavery in their history and really incorporating the story into the whole narrative, and not just a side piece. Well, they are at it again! “The CHOICE–Risking Your Life for Freedom” The first presentation was this past Saturday and all I’m hearing is rave reviews!! If you’re in the area but missed them on Saturday, DON’T WORRY!! I’ve got you covered. They are doing it two more times, July 14th and August 11th. Now the event is FREE to the public (who doesn’t like that?) but you will need to make reservations at 301-373-2280. Don’t miss out on a dynamic performance and stay to learn more about the history of the plantation. And for those wondering, they are not paying me for this commercial, I just really believe in the work that they are doing and wish more places would take a note or 3 from how they have made the discussion about slavery as much a part of the site as all other components of their story. For more information, check out Sotterley Plantation here
What else? Oh our good friend Joseph McGill is busy busy busy with the Slave Dwelling Project. This week, on the 15th, he will be doing a
presentation at the Heyward-Washington House. This presentation is open to the public and begins at 7pm. The presentation on the Slave Dwelling Project is FREE…BUT…between 6pm and 7pm, the home, as well as kitchen building and two gardens will be available for an optional tour. This does cost something. If you are a member of the Charleston Museum, then it is FREE. If you are not a member, you will need to pay admission but the tour will be included in the cost of your admission. For more information on this event, check here. Since Mr. McGill is a hot ticket these days, you may want to come for the presentation early. It’s scheduled to start at 7 and seating is on a first come, first served basis. I have a feeling this may be a standing room only event, so don’t miss it!
If you want to be a part of history and you’re near Williamsburg, then you may want to check out the folks over at the College of William and Mary. Currently there is an archaeological dig going on with the hopes of finding conclusive evidence of the Bray School. The significance in this discovery is that the Bray School was an 18th century school used to educate freed and enslaved African American children. From the William and Mary website,
The Bray School Archaeological Project (BSAP) is a pair of field schools excavating the area near what Meyers and others believe is the original site of the Bray School, the Dudley Digges House at the intersection of Prince George and North Boundary streets in Williamsburg. The Bray School, established with the support of Benjamin Franklin, operated in Williamsburg from 1760 to 1774. The school was in the Digges House from its inception until 1765, when it moved to another location.
Now I did say you could be a part of this project, and I would not make a statement like that unless I could back it up, so per the website, there is going to be two 5 week field schools going on. These schools will be where William and Mary students will learn the necessary skills that are used recover artifacts and in turn interpret those artifacts. Since most of us will not be in the field school, your best opportunity would be to volunteer. The excavation is open to the public and if you do want to volunteer, please contact Neil Norman, an assistant professor of Anthropology at W&M via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you just want to read all about the project, go a head and click here.
I’ve recently watched Disney’s Song of the South and intend to write about it. Thing is, I’m finding I can’t just give an opinion on it, I’m researching the Uncle Remus tales and responses to the movie and that takes some time. But when I do…get ready.
Have a great one guys!
Hi Nicole, Thanks for the great comments! (I am the playwright). I have been writing, producing, directing museum theatre about African American life in Maryland for over 25 years, and found this project to be one of my most exciting. Two primary sources became important and triggered the action. One was the newspaper account of the British coming onto the plantation, and Plater seeing one of his recently escaped slaves in British uniform and carrying a gun! The other was finding the names of the 43 enslaved people who escaped in two different escapes. It raised the question in my mind — why did the other 20+ slaves not take the opportunity and flee to the British.
Thanks again for your comments.
No problem!! I wish I had an opportunity to see it, but I know it was amazing anyway. Isn’t amazing how documents trigger a ton of questions?!