Mapping Virginia’s Slave Dwellings


Preserving Black History with Street View

African American Heritage  •  History  •  News

360 degree panorama of Buffalo Forge by Peter Hedlund
360 degree panorama of Buffalo Forge by Peter Hedlund

A few months back we told you about a short documentary coming out from Google Earth Outreach. The six-minute film highlights the work our Encyclopedia Virginia and African American Programs are doing to document slave dwellings across Virginia. Google released that film on June 19th in honor of Juneteenth, the day we celebrate the abolition of slavery in the United States. Here’s the announcement about the film from Google Earth Outreach:

In honor of Juneteenth, we’re sharing this story about a Google Earth Outreach project that highlights African American history. In today’s post, Justin Reid, Director of African American programs, and Peter Hedlund, Director of Encyclopedia Virginia—both of the state humanities council Virginia Humanities—talk about documenting slave dwellings using Google Street View.

In the Virginia state record, only 1% of documented historical sites are categorized as having any African American historical significance. It’s easy to visit historic sites from the era of slavery and forget the enslaved men, women and children who built and maintained these places. Using Street View, Virginia Humanities has been collecting panoramic imagery of slave dwellings across the state for everyone to see. They hope these images will add to a more inclusive history of Virginia and helps us remember that enslaved peoples were integral to our country’s founding.

Explore Ampthill in Cumberland County in Google Street View

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