In October, on the same weekend of the devastation brought by Hurricane Matthew, I was at the Association for the Study of African-American Life & History conference held in Richmond. It was a great program organized by many and overseen by Dr. Evelyn Higginbottham and Sylvia Cyrus.
As a part of my official duties, I was asked to sit on a panel discussing the preservation of historic sites that relate to people of African descent. Of course, many places do. The NPS presenters focused on what it is that the agency does to help in the preservation of these places.
Before we spoke, John W. Franklin (son of the well-known John Hope Franklin) and former NPS director Robert “Bob” Stanton spoke. To catch us all, you can watch online.
As we near the 400th anniversary of the marriage of Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan to English colonists and tobacco planter, John Rolfe there are a series of events planned to commemorate her capture and marriage as well as the relationship between the English and Algonquin groups in Tidewater Virginia in the early 1600s.
I invite you to check out the plans as they are at this time here at the World of Pocahontas Schedule.
If you would, I’d invite you to fast forward a couple hundred years and move to the west of Tidewater Virginia to look at Montpelier, the plantation owned by James Madison, Constitution author and fourth president of the United States. Archaeological work continues on discovering more about the lives of the enslaved people who were living and working on the plantation during the early 1800s. This work is assisted in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and you can hear a bit more about this work through the YouTube video Slave Quarters Excavation at James Madison’s Montpelier.