A Labor of Love: Why I Appreciate the History of Midwives

KP, Nicole, and DeirdreAfter giving birth to my first child Deirdre, my obstetrician revealed that I almost died in the process. I hemorrhaged quite a bit and unbeknownst to me, when my firstborn decided to enter the world sunny-side up (babies are usually born head down), she fractured my pelvic bones. Six weeks later, I still couldn’t walk. Thanks to the amazing care of my obstetrician, Dr. Jawwad Khan (who was most certainly a midwife in a past life), I had a full recovery.

Read More »

The Art and Soul of African American Interpretation

Arthur Johnson

Back when he worked as an interpreter at Carter’s Grove, Art Johnson would intercept visitors as they crossed a bridge on the way to the mansion house. “Is anyone here related to the Burwells?” he would ask. When they acknowledged that they weren’t related to the mansion’s 18th-century occupants, Art had his opening, his chance to redirect their attention to the nearby slave quarter….

Read More »

Becoming Thomas Jefferson: My Journey Up Tom’s Mountain

D2016-DMD-0414-5459

I had my first Jefferson dream about two months ago. I was sitting, writing, at a cherry desk. The room was dim and I couldn’t see the entire space, but I could feel that it was small. On one dark wall was a bookshelf. A rug was on the wide planked floor. And in the corner of the room, eyes fixed on the pages of a book, was a boy. He was sitting with one leg under him and the other bent at his chest, absent-mindedly gnawing on his finger while the bulk of his attention was absorbed by whatever words were on the pages.

Read More »

Snapchat Face-Swap Kit: Founding Fathers Edition

Face Swap CollageSnapchat’s latest update allows users to face-swap with a photo from their device’s camera roll. Over the past week that’s produced a deluge of swaps with television and film star faces… but why not historical figures? And why not learn something new at the same time? Behold! Your newest Snapchat face-swap kit + reading material!…

Read More »

Mary Randolph and African Culinary Connections

D2013-DMD-0227-3505

In 1800 an enslaved Virginian named Gabriel Prosser plotted an insurrection in Henrico County near Richmond. His goal reportedly was to kill any white person he came across, sparing only French Huguenots and one named individual. That person was Mary Randolph who, declared Prosser, would cook for him and be his queen.

Why would Prosser single out a white woman of privilege in such a way?…

Read More »