Sleeping with the Ancestors: Historian’s book sheds light on enslaved lives
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A new book unveils a unique perspective on the living realities of those who were enslaved on southern plantations.
A collaboration between historian Joe McGill, and Herb Frazier resulted in the book, “Sleeping with the Ancestors,” which reveals forgotten stories of the enslaved and stimulates difficult conversations.
“Sleeping with the Ancestors” explores Joe McGill’s personal experiences and his initiative, The Slave Dwelling Project, which aims to raise awareness about the preservation of slave cabins across the United States.
Joe McGill, a historian and tour guide at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, educates tourists about the harsh realities faced by enslaved people who once occupied the cabins there. However, occasionally he invites others to take an immersive trip through history and spend a night in the cabins.
In his talks, McGill often initiates discussions on thought-provoking subjects that cause some listeners to recoil. He doesn’t back down.
“I’m not going back to that place where I was learning about this history, learning about my slave ancestors being happy,” McGill says. “Learning about their enslavers being benevolent. That’s the place this anti-CRT and this ‘anti-woke’ is trying to take us to and I’m not going back there with them and I’m doing everything within my power through this project, through this book, to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Frazier says the book is for those seeking a deeper understanding of the lasting impact of slavery on the United States.
“Maybe this book serves as a way to stimulate a conversation around healing so that we people can then have empathy towards the African American experience in this country,” Frazier says.
“Sleeping with the Ancestors” is scheduled to be released on June 6 and can be found wherever books are sold.
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