On August 23 and August 24, 2019, Joe McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project will be in residence at Locust Grove for a campfire discussion and overnight and a public presentation about his work on changing the narrative of slavery and address its legacy in American history and culture.
Joe McGill is an educator, Civil War reenactor, and descendant of enslaved people. The Slave Dwelling Project began in 2010 at Magnolia Plantation in South Carolina and has since spread to 23 states on one-hundred-fifty historic sites. McGill’s work focused on changing the narrative, one slave dwelling at a time, as he attempts to spend the night in every former slave dwelling still standing in the United States. The Slave Dwelling Project has attracted national attention, and McGill has been interviewed for The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Curbed, and HistoryNet.
According to Program Director Brian Cushing, “This visit by Joe McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project is a way for Locust Grove to further explore how to discuss the history of slavery at our site and in the region. We want to help everyone in our city and surrounding communities talk openly about this history.”
On Friday, August 23 at 6:30 pm, guests will gather for an outdoor meal and campfire discussion guided by McGill about the lives of enslaved people across the United States, including those at Locust Grove, and consider what can be learned from sleeping where they slept and standing where they stood. Guests who wish to sleep outdoors on the property will have the opportunity to do so, either under the stars or in modern tents.
On Saturday, August 24 at 1:30 pm, McGill will speak on his experiences in telling the stories of the enslaved and sleeping at former sites of enslaved people. Farms and plantations like Locust Grove are a familiar setting for stories of slave life, and William Croghan, like other slaveowners, was first and foremost a businessman. McGill’s presentation will focus on the economy of slavery in agricultural and non-agricultural settings, as well as the insights he has gained through his years of sleeping in slave residences.
The Slave Dwelling Project: Joe McGill at Locust Grove will take place August 23 & 24 at Historic Locust Grove. Tickets for all events will go on sale July 17 and may be purchased by calling Locust Grove at 502-897-9845. Advanced reservations are required for both events.
More information about the Slave Dwelling Project may be found here: www.slavedwellingproject.org.