“Pain Had a Face, Indignity Had a Body, Suffering Had Tears:” Evaluating the Role of Colonial Williamsburg in Portraying Narratives of Enslavement
This thesis analyzes how Colonial Williamsburg presented African American history from its opening in 1934 to 2018. Through archival research, historiography, and oral histories, I contend that Colonial Williamsburg perpetuates the ideological separation of African American history from mainstream American history. Segregated programming and a central narrative of white exceptionalism and patriotism maintain this divide. I conclude by introducing the concept of Emotional Humanity as an alternative interpretive method for guiding presentations of slavery at living history museums such as Colonial Williamsburg.
Kolenbrander, Sarah, "“Pain Had a Face, Indignity Had a Body, Suffering Had Tears:” Evaluating the Role of Colonial Williamsburg in Portraying Narratives of Enslavement" (2018). History Honors Projects. 26.
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Honors Project in History Department
Advisor: Linda Sturtz