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Sleeping with the Ancestors

Nonfiction / History / African American & Black

Date de parution: June 6th 2023

Sleeping with the Ancestors

How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery

The personal account of one man's groundbreaking project to sleep overnight in the countless oft-overlooked former slave dwellings that still stand across the country, the fascinating history behind those sites, and how he has used the experiences to shed light on larger issues of race in America.

Joseph McGill Jr., a historic preservationist and Civil War reenactor, founded the Slave Dwelling Project in 2010 based on an idea that was sparked and first developed in 1999. Since founding the project, McGill has been touring the country, spending the night in former slave dwellings—throughout the South, but also the North and the West, where people are often surprised to learn that such structures exist. Events and gatherings are arranged around these overnight stays, and it provides a unique way to understand the often otherwise obscured and distorted history of slavery. The project has inspired difficult conversations about race in communities from South Carolina to Alabama to Texas to Minnesota to New York, and all over the United States.

Sleeping with the Ancestors focuses on all of the key sites McGill has visited in his ongoing project and digs deeper into the actual history of each location, using McGill’s own experience and conversations with the community to enhance those original stories. Altogether, McGill and coauthor Herb Frazier give readers an important unexpected emersion into the history of slavery, and especially the obscured and ignored aspects of that history.
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Regular Price $29

Regular Price $37 CAD

Page Count: 352

ISBN-13: 9780306829666

What's Inside

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Praise

In this gripping personal account, Joseph McGill Jr., and Herb Frazier seek to deepen and broaden our understanding of the horrors our African American ancestors endured for generations by chronicling McGill’s experiences sleeping in former slave dwellings. I firmly believe that our history must be told and should be understood if we are to avoid repeating our worst mistakes. Sleeping with the Ancestors will further that goal by serving as a tremendous historical reference from which all can learn.”

Congressman James E. Clyburn
“Scripture teaches to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly (Micah 6:8). Joe McGill walks the walk, and his hands-on, day-and-night journey inspires—one dwelling at a time. Few have done more than this determined South Carolinian to heal the scars of enslavement and lead us back—all of us—to the generations of ancestors whose unpaid labor shaped America. I feel lucky to have slept on some hard floors, seeing him stir the embers, share the meal, and invite the conversations that we all need to have.”—Peter H. Wood, Duke University historian, author of Black Majority and Strange New Land
"A soul-stirring memoir by a modern-day crusader who confronts our Nation's original sin to save forgotten national historic treasures in tribute to our enslaved ancestors who dwelled in them." —Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black, Carnegie Mellon University historian and author of Combee: Harriet Tubman, the Combahee River Raid, and Black Freedom During the Civil War
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