History, Slavery & the Obligation to Remember

Daniel Horowitz Garcia's picture

Hello all,

Long-time reader, first-time poster. I have a history podcast, Change Over Time, and I have a policy of not using the lists I'm on to promote episodes. This post is sent as ask for help.

The latest episode, "History, Slavery & the Obligation to Remember", is an interview with two actors who portray historical figures and with the head historian of the Atlanta History Center. The actors portray Benjamin Franklin and Mary Ann Harris Gay. Gay is the focus of the episode. She was a Confederate sympathizer and spy. She also enslaved at least 5 people. In the episode I try to thread a needle. I don't want folks to simply condemn the actors and feel morally superior. At the same time, there is a lot going on when people choose to portray enslavers and don't really know how to talk about slavery. What I'm trying to do is convey how hard it is to talk about slavery in the US as well as provide some insight into why we must have that conversation.

I'm not affiliated with a university. My podcast is literally put together in my garage. It would be helpful for me if fellow scholars could take a listen and provide some feedback. This is a new podcast, and this is only my seventh or so episode. I am a scholar of race, gender, and social movement so those ideas keep coming up, how could they not, but I originally envisioned this podcast as a way to historically think about much more traditionally geeky things, i.e. science fiction and fantasy. Although I have done a lot in that area, and will continue to do more, I also geek things like how a society talks about slavery. But I was not as emotionally prepared for this story as the stuff about steampunk. Any constructive feedback is appreciated since this is a direction I will be following. In particular I would like to know:

  • What did I miss? What did non-historians need to hear but didn't get in this episode?
  • Was I fair? Did I hold the folks I interviewed up to a standard I shouldn't have?
  • What else could be said? This is different than the first question. This is more about what kinds of follow up should I do in the future.
  • Also, because I'm a newbie, it would be great if someone said it was awesome.

You can listen to the episode and learn more about the podcast at changeovertimepodcast.com. Thank you all in advance.

Daniel Horowitz Garcia