We think of the United States as a nation of immigrants. Most of us trace our ancestors to foreign lands, and many devote great time and resources to searching for our roots. DNA technology has made it possible for people to learn what regions their ancestors came from. For the descendants of enslaved people, these connections are unprecedented. Colonial Williamsburg is a place where people can encounter the Revolutionary story that unites us as Americans. Does our national unity depend on our diverse family stories?
Interpreter Hope Smith relates the story of searching for her African past and how she found relatives on the streets of Colonial Williamsburg.
Promo American Ideas: Steadfast Spirits
The progress and experiences of African American women are chronicled and celebrated in the Steadfast Spirits webcast, March 1, 2013. Tricia Brooks and Harvey Bakari discuss their approach to a history of gender and race.
Liberty for Lydia: Giving Voice
Actress Erica Hubbard, Director Bill Weldon, and Assistant Director Stephen Seals talk about interpreting and bringing to life the enslaved cook of George Wythe, Lydia Broadnax, for the stage performance of Steadfast Spirits on March 9, 2013. What do we know and how do we give voice to the voiceless in our American history?
Voices for the Past
Three of Colonial Williamsburg's African American women interpreters discuss how they give voice today to the enslaved women of our history.
Much can be said about this song’s sacred and secular connotations. At first glance, one might assume that the song speaks to its religious roots; however, given the environment in which the song was created, the song can be taken literally. Taken from The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s enhanced CD, From Ear to Ear, and adapted from field recordings by John and Alan Lomax