January 17, 2022
Established in 1969, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture is the nation’s first-ever ethnic commission and has a 50-year track record of exploring, researching, commemorating and preserving important places associated with the African American history of the Old Line State. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Chanel Compton, the Executive Director of the Commission, about their work and the exciting future of African American preservation in Maryland and beyond.
The Commission is the oldest ethnic commission in the nation and doesn’t just talk about preserving history – it directly invests millions of dollars in brick-and-mortar projects across the state. It’s a Maryland story with national implications and one we had to bring to PreserveCast.
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
Chanel Compton is inspired and passionate about her role as Executive Director for the Banneker-Douglass Museum (BDM) and Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC). She also currently serves as Board Chair of the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center and board member to Afro Charities, Maryland Humanities and Future History Now. Compton has been a life-long supporter of museums; stating, “A museum can be such a powerful place. As a young person, it was my initial visit to museums and galleries that opened my eyes and mind to new perspectives, cultures, and history. African American museums are instrumental in inspiring a new generation of leaders and innovators because it is a place of empowerment, of learning, and a place of individual and collective transformation.” As Executive Director of BDM and MCAAHC, Compton is dedicated to serving arts communities and artists in Maryland. She has a home and art studio in Baltimore, Maryland.
August 30, 2021
On this week’s re-release of PreserveCast, we’re heading back to the brackish marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore to talk Tubman, slavery, and freedom.
Few names have become as synonymous with grit, determination, and liberty as Harriet Tubman. A Moses for her people, Tubman has become an almost mythical character who represents the best of the American spirit in the face of incredible suffering and inhumanity. Yet, for many years, she lacked a rigorous and scholarly biography. Today’s guest, Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, addressed that historical inequity and helped bring Harriet’s real story to a new generation.
July 19, 2021
Preservation requires a solid and significant understanding of our past – and on this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking with Jason Church, a National Park Service preservationist who is leading an effort to expertly document the powerfully important physical vestiges of slavery and tenant farming. As these humble and simple structures fade away, work like this takes on a new level of importance and significance.
All across America, the physical evidence of slavery is being lost to the ravages of time and indifference. Without expert documentation – there’s a real chance we could lose all memory and understanding of these important buildings. That’s why Preservation Maryland is partnering with the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training to laser scan structures on Maryland’s eastern shore as a part of a broader national effort – a topic we knew we had to bring to our listeners.
April 26, 2021
Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian working on a multidisciplinary project based on the Green Book. In Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America, Taylor has masterfully pulled together this story of resilience and segregation in a way that elevates and memorializes this history – a history still rooted in countless towns and cities across America.
March 1, 2021
Established in 1969, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture is the nation’s first-ever ethnic commission and has a 50 year track record of exploring, researching, commemorating and preserving important places associated with the African American history of the Old Line State. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Chanel Compton, the Executive Director of the Commission, about their work and the exciting future of African American preservation in Maryland and beyond.
January 25, 2021
As nearly anyone who has seriously studied American history can attest – there is no American story without the story of slavery. It is central to our origin and must be included in order to get a full and complete picture of our history. Unfortunately, the records of slavery are spread far and wide and are often siloed and incomplete. In this two part series, we’re talking to two of the minds behind Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade – a digital preservation effort aimed at connected the dots and knocking down the silos of slave history. Learn more at www.enslaved.org.
December 28, 2020
Food is powerful. It has the ability to transcend artificial divisions and to unite – and it can speak to our history and heritage if we’re willing to listen, or think with our tastebuds.
For today’s guest, using food to tell a story is all a part of his daily work. Brent Rosen is the President and CEO of NatFAB, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans, Louisiana.
So, pack your back, but don’t bring any food – we’ve got that covered on this week’s PreserveCast.
December 14, 2020
Few names in American history inspire as much controversy, admiration, and consternation. He was a controversial figure in his own time and remains so today. No matter your opinion, Brown’s legacy is critically important and must be explored and remembered.
Today’s guest, Martha Swan, is the founder and Executive Director of John Brown Lives!, an organization dedicated to preserving Brown’s farm in upstate New York and using his legacy to inspire future generations.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking about John Brown, memory and how to use the past to engage the present.
November 16, 2020
Today’s guest is a part of a powerful movement to share the authentic, painful and real history of slavery at some of America’s most visited plantation sites.
Olivia Williams is a cultural history interpreter at McLeod Plantation Historic Site in Charleston, South Carolina. She’s been featured in the BBC, CBS News and the New York Times for her work and for shining a light on the awkward and uncomfortable questions posed by many visitors which underscore the lack of understanding of America’s slaveholding past.
This week on PreserveCast, we’ll discuss this critical work with a master of the trade.
November 2, 2020
Our nation is confronting challenges on almost every front – so why invest money in historic sites when the challenges are so great?
Places like Historic Sotterley, located in Southern Maryland, can make the case for why we should invest. Sotterley has worked to become an exceptional cultural and educational resource for its region and state, and through ongoing work strives to help build a better community with local and regional partners.
On today’s episode of PreserveCast, we’re talking with Nancy Easterling, the Executive Director of Historic Sotterley about tackling the complex history of a plantation and how that conversation can improve communities.
October 19, 2020
There are some topics that are easy to introduce to our PreserveCast listeners. Today’s episode is not one of those – but it is a topic we feel compelled to cover and explore.
Among his many responsibilities and positions, today’s guest, Dr. David Fakunle, is also currently serving as the as Chair of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first state body in the United States dedicated to chronicling and bringing justice to racial terror lynchings.
It is a dark and painful chapter in our history – but a history which we’ll confront and discuss on this week’s PreserveCast with a leader dealing with the legacy of lynchings and the effort to bring justice to those who were denied it.
October 5, 2020
Today on PreserveCast, we’re talking with Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom, the co-authors of Eubie Blake: Rags, Rhythm and Race, a new biography of one of the key composers of 20th century American popular song and jazz.
A gifted musician, Blake rose from performing in dance halls and bordellos of his native Baltimore to the heights of Broadway. As successful as his career and music were, racism and bad luck hampered Blake's career. Remarkably, the third act of Blake's life found him heralded in his 90s at major jazz festivals, in Broadway shows, and on television and recordings.
Now, let’s get jazzy on this week’s PreserveCast!
September 14, 2020
Do you ever wonder how authors and historians can keep writing new books about the same 'ole history?
Shouldn’t it never change because it’s all in the past?
The truth is anything but.
No one can explain that better than our guest, Dennis Frye – having been involved in everything from giving tours to leading nationally important preservation and battlefield protection organizations, few people know the complexities of Civil War history like Dennis.
In his recent book, Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination, Dennis makes the case that history should never lie dormant, it always needs to be re-examined, stating, “Historians should always be challenging themselves. They should always be a detective. They should always be mining for new information, and if it completely reverses something that’s conventional, good, good. Throw it out there and let people see it in a different way, in a different manner, in a different light.”
Listen in to this episode of PreserveCast to hear from Dennis about his investigative and inclusive approach to historical research on this special re-broadcast in commemoration of the Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
August 31, 2020
It has been historically all too easy for the places associated with underrepresented communities to fall through the cracks of the historic record.
To a degree, that has been the case with the overly-simplified history presented of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. But with the recent spotlight on the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, new research and a more inclusive and accurate telling of the complex history has started to fill in those cracks.
In this rereleased episode, your host Nick Redding was joined by historian Kacy Rohn, the author of Maryland's historic context report focused on uncovering the stories of the remarkable women of Maryland's suffrage movement.
Join us for a discussion on the fight for women’s right to vote in the United States, and the power of place to help us remember that fight.
This is PreserveCast.
August 24, 2020
Gettysburg is a special place and has been since the ground was made hallowed by soldiers nearly 160 years ago. Today, as America grapples with its history – especially its Civil War history – places like Gettysburg are critical to the understanding of who we are and where we are headed.
Today’s guest is responsible for leading the effort to interpret that history. Christopher Gwinn is the Supervisory Park Ranger for the division of Interpretation and Education and is working hard to reach all Americans with the story of Gettysburg.
Grab your knapsack and toss on your forage cap, we’re headed to the crossroads town of Gettysburg on this week’s PreserveCast.
August 10, 2020
Few names have become as synonymous with grit, determination, and liberty as Harriet Tubman. A Moses for her people, Tubman has become an almost mythical character who represents the best of the American spirit in the face of incredible suffering and inhumanity. Yet, for many years, she lacked a rigorous and scholarly biography.
Today’s guest, Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, addressed that historical inequity and helped bring Harriet’s real story to a new generation. On this week’s PreserveCast, we're heading back to the brackish marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore to talk Tubman, slavery, and freedom.
PreserveCast is powered by Preservation Maryland, a non-profit organization.
July 13, 2020
As America confronts, commemorates, and questions its history – preservationists like Catherine Fleming Bruce are helping to frame those conversations and providing powerful examples of how historic places can help us in these challenging times.
Bruce is the author of an award-winning book on sustaining the sacred spaces of civil rights, human rights, and social movements and how this work can support the march towards greater social justice. With her book, "The Sustainers: Being, Building and Doing Good through Activism in the Sacred Spaces of Civil Rights, Human Rights and Social Movements," she became the first African American winner of the annual Historic Preservation Book Prize, presented by the University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation.
It’s a weighty topic – but one we must explore – and with someone who knows it well on this week’s PreserveCast.