This week on THE JANUS ADAMS SHOW: REMEMBERING TO KNOW -- Historic Huguenot Street, The Slave Dwelling Project, TMI Project's #BlackStoriesMatter, and five writers in contemplation.  

On Juneteenth (the African American holiday celebrating slavery's end), five writers spend the night in a cellar kitchen where enslaved people were once held enchained by the town of New Paltz's colonial founding families.  Crafting reflections on their transformative experience, they performed their monologues -- in a program titled "Reclaiming Our Time" -- before a live audience at the historic Reformed Church of New Paltz.

"I know what you're all thinking: what does one wear to a slave quarter sleepover?"  With that, Victory Reese opened the evening with the first of five monologues -- a meditation on slavery and "a conversation on race," if ever there was. 

The writers: Micah Blumenthal, Tina Lynn Dickerson (Freedom Walker), Dara Lurie, Tameka Ramsey, and Victory Reese.

The singers and musicians: Theresa V. Briggs, Rev. Evelyn Clarke, Rita M. Worthington, and members of the New Progressive Baptist Church choir.


Here's what makes this show extra-special:  

Both Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois (Co-founder of the NAACP and the "Father of Pan-Africanism") and Sojourner Truth (self-emancipated ex-slave, abolitionist, and human rights activist) are connected to the families of Historic Huguenot Street.

  • In 1674 -- three years before the town of New Paltz was founded -- Louis Du Bois purchased two enslaved Africans at a public auction in nearby Esopus.   That means -- says HHS' Kara Gaffken (Director of Public Programming) -- "the day a French Huguenot settler stepped foot on this land, likely, so did an enslaved African.  Therefore, the history and culture of Africans in New Paltz runs just as deep as that of the French Huguenots and the Dutch colonists."
  • Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois was a descendant of New Paltz' colonial-era founding DuBois family.
  • Sojourner Truth (born Isabella Bomefree) and her parents were owned by Johannes Hardenbergh whose extraordinary grant of two million acres of Native America land included New Paltz.  Walking away from her owners in 1826, she was welcomed by friends in New Paltz.


Also heard on the show:

"Tears for Johannesburg" from "We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom NOW Suite" performed by Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Booker Little, and Olatunji.

​Tags: Historic Huguenot Street, The Slave Dwelling Project, TMI Project, #BlackStoriesMatter, Terry James, Joseph McGill, Reformed Church of New Paltz, SUNY New Paltz, WJFF 

Hear the full show (uploaded Mondays): 

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REMEMBERING TO KNOW

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