Now that I have the attention of the public by sleeping in extant slave dwellings, it is time to wake up and deliver the message that the people who lived in these structures were not a footnote in American history.

– Joseph McGill, Founder of the Slave Dwelling Project

About Us

The Slave Dwelling Project’s mission is to identify and assist property owners, government agencies and organizations to preserve extant slave dwellings. Find out more about how you can help!

2015 SDP Conference

2015 Slave Dwelling Conference

The 2015 Slave Dwelling Conference has been announced! The second annual conference will be held in Charleston, SC on October 8 – 10, 2015. Registration will open on June 1.


Slave Dwelling Project Overnight Stays

2015 Schedule

We have a lot in store for 2015! Send us a message if it looks like we will be near you – we’d love to meet up! Additionally, we hope you will join us for the 2015 Slave Dwelling Project Conference.

Become a Sponsor!

Become a Sponsor

Become a sponsor of the 2015 Slave Dwelling Conference in Charleston, SC! There are many levels from which to choose, contact us to find out more!

Check out our special tours we will be coordinating with the 2nd Annual SDP Conference!

Magnolia Plantation Excursion
Friday Dinner Theater
The Slave Dwelling Project

This overnight stay highlighted for me in a personal and physical way what the lives of enslaved people might have been like. It made me much more thoughtful about the harsh contrast between the lives of free, privileged, European American slave owners, like my own ancestors, and the lives of the enslaved and intentionally deprived African American people.

– Prinny Anderson, Coming to the Table

Latest Stays

Recent Overnight Stays and Public Programs

Slavery in New York

If in 1703, more than 42 percent of New York City households held slaves, often as domestic servants and laborers and the last slaves were freed in 1827, why is it that when I interpret slavery in northern states, I often get push back? I can now add the state of New...

Speaking from Beneath the Earth

Now in its fifth year, the Slave Dwelling Project has allowed me to spend nights in extant slave dwellings in fourteen states. The stewards of these dwellings range from private, non-profit, local government, county government, state government and federal government....

It’s Not Always a Dwelling

Not every overnight stay fits the mold of the original intent of the Slave Dwelling Project. That intent was to bring much needed attention to extant slave dwellings and to that end, the project has been quite successful. There are some buildings that are clearly not...

The Power of Place

Five years into the Slave Dwelling Project and I am still trying to find extant slave dwellings throughout the United States, but sometimes the stewards of these sites find me. This was definitely the case for Effingham Manor in Aden, Virginia. So I get this call from...

Hopsewee Plantation and the Beginning of Visual Documentation

I am always impressed when I am invited back to a site for an overnight stay because it was not my intention to continue this project beyond the initial year. It was also not my intent to take this project into other states. Five years later, with over sixty stays in...

And It Was Not Even Black History Month: Freedom 150

Rare is the time where history and the present team up and rent a room in the hearts of those lucky enough to witness the union. ——–Ardell Sanders There are times when the stars align. Saturday, June 30 was that time. I found myself at Stagville...

Hofwyl – Broadfield Plantation

Sometimes it takes overnight sleepovers in slave dwellings a long time to materialize. The sleepover at Hofwyl – Broadfield Plantation State Historic Site fits that category. In April of 2014, Patt Gunn who was a board member of the Slave Dwelling Project; James...

The Show Must Go On

As the Slave Dwelling Project continues to evolve, my physical presence to sleep in extant slave dwellings is in high demand. Family and job obligations makes accepting every invitation impossible. Despite those obligations, the show must go on. Pinch hitting for the...

Sharing the Stage with a Legend

As the Slave Dwelling Project continues to evolve, there are many sites of which I have spent the night in their extant slave dwelling more than once. As other individuals and entities begin to understand that I come in peace and that this is a project with great...

“Who Speak Fuh’ We? WE Speak Fuh’ WE!” The work of The Slave Dwelling Project, Inc. is profound. The dwellings that we have to save remind me of a South African word, “Azuka”, meaning “help is imperative”. I am honored to be a member of the Project. We will raise the bar on cultural heritage preservation throughout the United States and abroad. I encourage folks to come on board, “Jine WE.”

– Patt Gunn, Geechee Girl Productions

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Join the Slave Dwelling Project

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I can say that the experience has made me a better person. It’s taught me humility for those who lived daily in the conditions I experienced for only 12 hours. It’s shown me an importance in knowing and attempting to learn about your history. Most of all, it has proven that history is real.

Justin Castor, Student

I was thankful for the act of remembrance and the ability to do so in a cultural way; in ways that my ancestors would have been punished for on many plantations. It was there in the sanctuary that I gave thanks of knowing and living the words of the ancestors … “Lest we forget.” My chant to them on the altar was, “You are not forgotten. We remember you with praise and honor.”

Toni Renee Battle

All I can say about Joe’s stay and “By the Sweat of Our Brows” is: if you didn’t make it, I’m sorry you missed it. You had to have been there to experience the power.

Dontavius Williams, Historical Interpreter, Historic Brattonsville

Slave Dwellings, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC

The Slave Dwelling Project

Developing Resources To Preserve African American Slave Dwellings

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