Joseph McGill, founder of the nationally renowned Slave Dwelling Project, will visit and provide two programs at the Phelps-Hatheway House on Saturday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday June 13 at 1.p.m.-2:30 p.m.
McGill established the Slave Dwelling Project in 2010 as a way to raise awareness and organize resources to preserve, interpret, maintain and sustain extant slave dwellings and other structures significant to the stories of the enslaved ancestors. Since he slept overnight at the Magnolia Plantation and Garden in South Carolina in 2010 to draw attention to a restoration project for cabins of enslaved ancestors, he has traveled the nation and has slept in “150 sites in 25 states and the District of Columbia.” Interpreting the documented slave bed in the Phelps-Hatheway attic will be the centerpiece of both programs. Joe is a public historian who uses the attention of sleeping in extant slave dwellings throughout the country to deliver the message that the people who dwelled in these places were not a footnote in American history.
Known for his ability to engage people in honest conversations about slavery, race, racism and racial equity in search of improved racial relations, Joe will lead an outdoor discussion on Saturday evening. Bring a chair to share your thoughts and enjoy learning more about the lives of enslaved people who lived in today’s Phelps-Hatheway property, in greater Suffield, and throughout our region. Sunday’s program will involve Joe being part of a panel discussion with Patricia Wilson Pheanious, former Connecticut Commissioner of Social Services, JD, MSW, and now Co-Chair of the Witness Stones Project. Dennis Culliton, Founder and Executive Director of the Witness Stones Project, will also be a part of the panel. More details about the program will be published on the Phelps-Hatheway House’s social media sites.
In order to protect the health of Phelps-Hatheway staff, visitors, and community, all visitors must wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Connecticut Landmarks is observing state guidelines and restrictions for outdoor events. The event will be held rain or shine.