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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