“Behind the Big House: My 41 Nights in Slave Dwellings”
On Wednesday, April 10, the Center and the Department of Sociology & Anthropology are sponsoring a visit from Mr. Joseph McGill, Program Coordinator for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Southern Office. As part of this visit, Joseph will give a lecture titled Behind the Big House: My 41 Nights in Slave Dwellings.
Joseph McGill, Jr. is a Program Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He works in the Southern Office in Charleston, S.C. and is responsible for the states Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina.
Prior to his current position, McGill was the Executive Director of the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His responsibilities included seeking funds from grant making entities to support the capital and operating budget of the museum/cultural center and developing programs that interpret the history of African Americans.
McGill is the former Director of History and Culture at Penn Center, St. Helena Island, SC. Penn School was the first school built during the Civil War for the education of recently freed slaves. As Director he was responsible for the overall development and implementation of the Center’s program for collecting, preserving, and making public the history of Penn Center and the Sea Island African American history and culture.
Mr. McGill was also employed by the National Park Service, serving as a Park Ranger at Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston, SC. As a Park Ranger, Mr. McGill was responsible for giving oral presentations on Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie on site and off, supervising volunteers and participating in living history presentations.
Mr. McGill is the founder of Company “I” 54th Massachusetts Reenactment Regiment in Charleston, S.C. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was the regiment portrayed in the award winning movie “Glory”. As a Civil War reenactor Mr. McGill participates in parades, living history presentations, lectures and battle reenactments.
Mr. McGill received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional English from South Carolina StateUniversity in 1989. A native of Kingstree, SC, McGill graduated from Kingstree Senior High School in 1979 and immediately entered the United States Air Force. He served as a Security Policeman in England, WashingtonState and Germany.
Joe appears in the book Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz. Joe appeared in a History Channel documentary called The Unfinished Civil War. He was filmed at the battle renactment of Olustee, Florida and spending the night in a slave cabin at Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, SC. The documentary aired in February 2001.
Joe is a Commissioner for the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, a board member for the proposed International African American Museum and a founding member of the South Carolina African American Historical Alliance. Joe is also a member of the South Carolina Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.