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Events from Late Spring /Early Summer

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Digital Storytelling

I enrolled in another Digital Storytelling workshop with Montgomery College's ELITE Faculty. The program ran for the full Spring 23' semester.

Here is my project:


Last month I was invited by Councilmember Will Jawando to speak at Montgomery City Council's resolution reading for Juneteenth. Unfortunately, I had a family emergency and could not be there in person. But, I shared my speech with his office.

Here it is:

On June 19, 1865, US General Gordon Granger stood before a crowd of Texans in the city of Galveston. He announced via a reading of General Order No. 3 that enslaved people were henceforth free and that they were to be considered equal to their former enslavers by proclamation of President Lincoln. More precisely, the order said the following:

“The people are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them, become that between employer and hired labor. The freed are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

Often in the retelling of this event people are told that the enslaved folks did not know they were free until they heard General Granger’s speech. They did not know about Lee’s surrender at Appomattox two months prior. Neither had they heard about the Emancipation Proclamation that President Lincoln signed over two years prior. African American history is not simply about retelling stories from the past, but also analyzing them.

When I teach about Juneteenth I ask students to unpack this version of the story. What does it obscure? What do we know about the conditions of enslavement? For example, we know that enslaved people knew far more about what was happening in the world around them than they could say. We also know it was very dangerous for them to celebrate the war’s end before US Colored Troops and other Union regiments arrived. Lastly, an additional question I ask is why was it that the very same document that liberated enslaved people in Texas also anxiously referenced idleness and speculated ways to limit Black mobility?

Juneteenth is a chance to celebrate the hopes and strivings of those who claimed freedom on June 19th, 1865. It also is about commemoration—meaning, let’s revisit the stories we tell and ask why. Let us spark conversations that seek to understand and imagine a world where Black freedom is considered the fulfillment of a promise.

Houston's Emancipation Park was created specifically for Juneteenth Celebrations in 1880. Wikimedia Commons


Last month I was hired by a company to give a talk about the meaning of LGBTQ+ Pride. They asked for a talk that could fit the needs of their commitment to diversity & inclusion .

I titled the talk, "Understanding the History of Pride: How the March for Stonewall became a Parade for Pride."

2019 was the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall Uprising--Office Of NY Gov. Cuomo

Summer II Class

I'm teaching African American History Since 1865. It is an asynchronous distance learning course.

Click here to see the "course in a box" that I made for this class last year.

Group Portrait On A Porch

Portrait of a large group of people (some members of the same family) as they pose on a stone porch in front of a house, early 20th century. (Photo by John Johnson/Corbis via Getty Images)


Recapping: An Overview of Events Completed Since Mid-Spring

Date: Saturday May 6th, 2023 at 2PM

Location: Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Chaired by Dr. Jennifer Anderson (Stony Brook University), this panel examines the lives of enslaved people in New York, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley. Past scholarship has primarily focused on the seaport of lower Manhattan and the labor routines that developed around an urban environment. This panel casts a larger net, inserting the Hudson Valley plantations and the slaveholders of Long Island into this dialogue of slavery in the North.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2023 | 8:00 – 9:30 PM EASTERN | LOCATION Atlanta, GA

Join us for the third in a series of five roundtables designed to explore and interrogate the American Revolution ahead of the 250th anniversary. Designed as a three-part suite of programming, a virtual roundtable grounding us in the history and scholarship of slavery, freedom, and the Revolution will be held in March 2023 ahead of the annual meeting. Second, this in-person opening plenary will allow conference attendees to dig deeper into the theme “The Rhetoric of Freedom” with our facilitator and scholars in a more conversational style. We’ll follow up with a concurrent session on Thursday of the conference that is designed to provide support for interpreters and strategies as they engage our publics in these essential conversations. Co-sponsored by the National Park Service and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Facilitator: Sylvea Hollis, Montgomery College Participants: Yveline Alexis, Oberlin College Ista Clarke, Charleston County Parks Department Maya Davis, Riversdale House Museum Marcus Nevius, University of Missouri

This plenary is free and open to conference attendees and non-attendees alike who are in Atlanta, GA, no advance registration required.

Part Three of this series was a session being held Thursday, April 13, at 10:30 am – “Interpreting Slavery and Revolution: Safe Space and Vent Session.” This session is only open to conference attendees. Sponsored by the National Park Service.

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