The Slave Dwelling Project

Developing Resources to Preserve African American Slave Dwellings

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A Letter from Joseph McGill

Find out what drove founder, Joseph McGill, to embark on the journey that is the Slave Dwelling Project

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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!

“Sacred Places” – A Walking Tour of Downtown Savannah’s Extant Slave Dwellings

“Sacred Places” – A Walking Tour of Downtown Savannah’s Extant Slave Dwellings

 An Affiliate Tour of the National Trust For Preservation Conference – Savannah, GA

Thank you to our sponsors of the first annual Slave Dwelling Project

Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

HIstoric Savannah Foundation
the 1772 Foundation
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

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... Montgomery: Crackling, Snapping

While I like to think I’m in control, sometimes I have to go where the Slave Dwelling Project takes me. Such was the case with the overnight stay at Old Alabama Town in Montgomery, Alabama. It started with an email and then a phone call from Vanessa Fernandez, a...

Best Year Ever for the Slave Dwelling Project

OUR MISSION – The Slave Dwelling Project’s mission is to identify and assist property owners, government agencies and organizations to preserve extant slave dwellings. OUR PURPOSE – The purpose of our work is to become a clearinghouse for the identification of...

The Miseducation of a Nation

With overnight stays in more than sixty extant slave dwellings, people appear to be most surprised when I mention stays in northern states. The stay at the slave quarters at the Royall House in Medford, Massachusetts seemed to test that theory the most. While some...

Cotton Fields, Slave Dwellings and Librarians

Cotton fields were abound on the route that I took to get to the slave dwelling of which I was going to spend the night in Camden, South Carolina. Passing by those fields of cotton made me more aware of the slave labor that was involved historically in its production....

Self Emancipation

  The stay at the Crocket – Miller Slave Quarters in James City, NC was a lesson on how our enslaved ancestors emancipated themselves. The institution of slavery had my ancestors in a situation where they had to acquiesce to the system of lifetime bondage which was...

A Room Without A Roof

  Not every overnight stay in an extant slave dwelling fits the mold of the intent of the Slave Dwelling Project. There was that overnight stay in a replicated slave cabin at Woodburn Plantation in Pendleton, SC. There was that overnight stay in a freedman’s...

“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

Join the Slave Dwelling Project

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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