On Saturday morning, 22 University of Virginia students boarded a bus outside the Curry School of Education and Human Development and made the winding, 45-minute drive to Montpelier, home of Founding Father James Madison, America’s fourth president.
They stood in the small room where, bedridden in his final years but sharp as ever, Madison would insist on opening the doors to the dining room so he could join in conversation with visitors. Then, standing in the same room, they learned about the life of Paul Jennings – a man born into slavery at Montpelier who would eventually publish his own memoir. They listened to the voice of Rebecca Gilmore-Coleman, a descendant of the enslaved community at Montpelier, discuss the legacies of slavery in contemporary society. They discussed how James Madison, who helped enshrine freedom in the American constitution, never freed a slave.
Through real, human stories, past and present, they learned about the history that is recorded and the history that is lost – and, perhaps most important, the history that is still being uncovered. (READ MORE)
Source: UVA Today (Laura Hoxworth)