Archive for Our Stories
On New Years Day, 1863, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and countless other abolitionists across the nation waited anxiously for word on the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. In grade school, I learned that it freed the slaves. But when I later read the document, I realized that it was not that simple: Lincoln only freed the slaves on Confederate soil, exempting those states under Union occupation and those fighting for the Union. Why, then, on January first, 1863, did abolitionists celebrate the news of partial emancipation as if it fulfilled the very core of their mission?
In August, after moving to Boston, Massachusetts from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I started working for American Experience on the Abolitionist Map of America project -- an interactive map also featured on the brand new American Experience: Mapping History iPhone app. I grew up in Monticello, Mississippi, and I have always been fascinated by the history of the Civil Rights Movement -- how the efforts of a few individuals who recognized that it was time for change and progress led to one of the most significant social advancements in the history of this country. And I was thrilled to be working on this project, bringing awareness of the often forgotten heroes from the first Civil Rights movement in American history -- the abolitionist movement.
One aspect of my job here at AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is reviewing the licenses for third-party materials used in our films. Many of these licenses come from small museums and historical societies, and I've often wondered what these places were like. So recently I decided to visit the Natick Historical Society to see firsthand what a small local museum has to offer.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has partnered with GetGlue for exclusive check ins to the show. During Billy the Kid and other premieres, check in to the "Billy the Kid on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE" page to join in on the conversation of others on the GetGlue network. Individual program pages also exist for Custer's Last Stand, Clinton, and The Amish. (You can also join others in discussing other shows on the American Experience series GetGlue page.)
It seems for every generation there is one event that changes the course of history. It's the day that people begin stories about with, "I remember where I was when..."
My love of history is really a love of stories and story telling. It is why I wanted to work on historical documentaries and why I wanted to work at AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. A good story is full of the dramatic and emotional, and the best ones have a surprise outcome you didn't see coming. This love and interest in storytelling translates to my love (and obsession) of sports. It's an immediate history that unfolds in front of you, especially during a playoff series with a hated rival. As the stakes get higher, the games get as dramatic and emotional as any great story should. It's also why I wanted to work in sports. Growing up a Boston Sports fan, I've learned the outcome of the 'story' may not always be to my liking. But in this decade I've witnessed the greatest comeback in sports history and an unprecedented number of championships in one decade. And the story isn't over yet.