The Brownlee Kitchen at Historic Arkansas Museum, the location of the 2018 “Behind the Big House” program.
The Behind the Big House program moves beyond the “Big Houses,” or stately historic homes, to explore extant slave dwellings and interpret the experiences of the enslaved people who inhabited them. This workshop will include live historical interpretations and lectures to highlight the important contributions African Americans made to Arkansas’s history and provide a broad understanding of the importance of slave dwellings and their role in heritage tourism.
Preserve Arkansas is proud to present Behind the Big House in partnership with the Arkansas Humanities Council, Black History Commission of Arkansas, and Historic Arkansas Museum, a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Friday, March 23 | 5:30 -7:30 p.m.
Historic Arkansas Museum Grounds and Brownlee Kitchen & Slave Quarters
Jerome Bias will prepare a sampling of foods based on enslaved diets using the hearth in the Brownlee Kitchen & Slave Quarters
Saturday, March 24 | 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Behind the Big House Program, Ottenheimer Theater
9:30 a.m. Introduction
Rachel Patton, Preserve Arkansas
Carla Coleman, Black History Commission of Arkansas
Swannee Bennett, Historic Arkansas Museum
9:50 a.m. Reconciling Slavery: Tourism, Race, & Difficult Pasts in the U.S. South
Dr. Jodi Skipper, University of Mississippi
10:50-11:00 a.m. BREAK
11:00 a.m. “Getting into Character”: Research and Writing for Living History
Aisha Credit and Felicia Richardson, Historic Arkansas Museum
12:00 p.m. “If these things could talk”: Objects crafted by enslaved Arkansans from Historic Arkansas Museum’s Arkansas Made collection
Hattie Felton, Victoria Chandler, and Caroline Millar, Historic Arkansas Museum
12:30 p.m. Lunch, HAM Restaurant
Pre-ordered boxed lunches will be delivered.
1:30 p.m. Hearth, Kettle, Spoon, and Larder: How the Tasks and Tools of an Enslaved Cook Give us a Window into who she was as a Persongram
Jerome Bias, Stagville State Historic Site, North Carolina
2:30 p.m. Urban Archeology and the Restoration of the Brownlee Kitchen and Enslaved Quarters
Dr. Jodi Barnes, Station Archeologist, University of Arkansas at Monticello
3:20-3:30 p.m. BREAK
3:30 p.m. The Slave Dwelling Project, Historic Preservation, and What Arkansas Can Learn from this Project
Joseph McGill, The Slave Dwelling Project