To register and learn more about the conference please go to www.slavedwellingproject.org

 

Joseph McGill

Joseph McGill

The Slave Dwelling Project was developed out of my desire to bring much needed attention to extant structures that once housed enslaved African Americans.   I began sleeping in extant slave dwellings in 2010. The idea of spending the night in these dwellings has grown immensely. Along this journey, I have been joined by colleagues, friends, members of the Slave Dwelling Project, educators, historians and students at 60 sites. These “sleepovers” were in the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, Massachusetts and even Missouri. The Project was pleased to experience our very first National Park Service stay at Cane River in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Although I have enjoyed those that have taken the time to join me in these dwellings, my most inspiring group of roommates were the youth, as they will be the guardians of tomorrow’s history.

Our concept is simple: Find out where slave dwellings are and ask the owners for permission to sleep in them. I am humbled at all of the owners that have said ‘yes’. I am grateful for all the attention these stays have garnered to make the public aware that there are hundreds of extant dwellings throughout the United States that need to be preserved. To this end, our Project is opening new doors of opportunity to achieve our purpose of becoming a clearinghouse for the identification of resources to assist owners to save these extant slave dwellings for posterity.

It is now time to bring historians, faculty, universities, archeologists, construction teams, legislators, writers, artists, foundations, organizations, churches, students and the general public together to achieve our purpose.

I invite each and every one of you to our premier SLAVE DWELLING PROJECT CONFERENCE 2014 in historic Savannah, Georgia. This ‘sister city’ to Charleston was also a port of entry for slaves during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Our theme is “Saving Sacred Places”. We’re “bringing it” with over 30 workshops featuring the best in cutting edge preservation projects, historical information and plenaries that will motivate positive movements in preservation, state by state.

Visual artist Arianne King Comer will create and coordinate exhibits that will capture the Project’s work through an array of visual artists. Photographic exhibits of preserved and extant slave dwellings will be featured as well as photos from our stays from state to state. Conference attendees will also experience an evening tour of Wormsloe Historic State Park, a local cotton plantation on the edge of Savannah, Georgia where a ‘surprise chef’ awaits us! On Friday night, a dinner theater featuring Anita Prather and the Gullah Kinfolk is on the menu.   Follow me on Facebook for special features on speakers, plenary guests, workshops and more.

Slave Dwelling Places are “sacred places” indeed. Please join me and the SDP Board of Directors in Savannah, Georgia on September 18-20, 2014 at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah.

To register and learn more about the conference please go to www.slavedwellingproject.org

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