Sleeping with the Ancestors: America’s Slave Dwellings


Sleeping with the Ancestors - slave dwellingsIn the latest episode of the Ben Franklins World podcast, we delve into the work of those working to preserve slave dwellings across the United States, safeguarding the essential stories these structures embody.

In our conversation, our guest will share why former slave dwellings are vital to our nation’s history and what they reveal about the lives of those who once lived in them. As we explore these poignant remnants of the past, consider: Why is it important to preserve these humble yet powerful symbols of history? What stories do they hold that we risk losing if they are forgotten? And how can understanding this part of our heritage shape a more inclusive and truthful reflection of our nation’s past?

Joseph McGill is a public historian, scholar, and executive director/founder of the Slave Dwelling Project. He joins us to discuss the importance of preserving colonial era housing for the enslaved communities with details from his book, Sleeping with the Ancestors: How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery (Hachette Books, 2023).

During our conversation, Joseph reveals: History of slavery in the United States; impact of history preservation; how living history programs impact historic sites; and establishing a career in public history and historic preservation.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Ben Franklin’s World is an award-winning podcast. It’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our world. Each episode features an interview with a historian who shares their unique insights into our early American past. It is a production of Colonial Williamsburg Innovation Studios.

For a full list of New York Almanack podcasts announcements click HERE.

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