Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Race and Religion in Revolutionary America: More on Williamsburg's African American Programs

James Ingram portrays Gowan Pamphlet

One of you had raised a question about Gowan Pamphlet, the freed slave who became a Baptist minister in Virginia. You wondered if he himself had owned slaves, since he was a landowner. I contacted our speaker, Harvey Bakari, who said there is no evidence that Gowan owned any slaves. You can learn more about Gowan by clicking here.

There's a great article about visitors' reactions to the African American experience programs in Williamsburg in the Washington Post. You can read it by clicking here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Race and Religion in Revolutionary America: Williamsburg's African American Programs

James Hogan, as a 1775 parson

I'm excited that we'll be joined by two different reenactors in our final class!

I've already shared some information about James Hogan, who portrays a 1775 parson at the Minuteman National Park in Concord, Massachusetts.

Here's a look at the people involved in the African American program at Williamsburg. Harvey Bakari will definitely be joining us. He may be joined by some other interpreters as well.

Click here to go to the video:


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Race and Religion in Revolutionary America: Whitewashing The Patriot

Whilst researching popular culture films dealing with the issue of slavery during the Revolutionary War, I considered showing a clip from the film The Patriot.

What I learned surprised me even though I know that Hollywood takes a great deal of dramatic license.

Check out this article for details:

Spike Lee Slams Patriot

Here's another:

The Patriot: More Flag-Waving Rot with Mel Gibson

What do you think about this? Comment below!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Race and Religion in Revolutionary America: What's in a Name? Washington

Double click on picture to read the caption.

Wondering what our first President thought and did about slavery?
Here's an interesting piece with some details:

Washington: the 'blackest name' in America

Monday, March 14, 2011

Race and Religion in Revolutionary America: Music and other Clips from 3/14

Our intended guest who will join us next week instead:
where he's from:

These are the pieces we will examine in class today:

1776 - I played the DVD, but you can see excerpts at
youtube.com such as



Randy Newman's Sail Away



Orchestra New England performs a stirring rendition of Chester, the first American national anthem. William Billings first wrote this in 1770.




Field trip to the Library of Congress: (click on images to enlarge)

Religion and the Founding


African American Sites in the Digital Collection


Colonial Williamsburg African American Experience Program


Interactive Role playing Game:


Video link:


Slave Work Songs: Electronic Field Trip


Reenactors consider our topic:



HBO’s John Adams – Slaves Building the White House 3:28