Colonial Williamsburg, long a leader in interpreting African American history, continues to present new and innovative programming. The Art and Soul of African American Interpretation is the first book in which African American interpreters themselves reflect on their profession. Six experienced interpreters discuss how they research historical figures and create characters, often with little documentary evidence; how they connect with diverse and sometimes hostile audiences; and how they use a variety of techniques, from storytelling and acting to carpentry and gardening, to make the past relevant. The book also includes information on the historical figures these interpreters have brought to life, among them Gowan Pamphlet, an enslaved man who pastored an early black church; Edith Cumbo, a free black woman; Wil, an enslaved tavern man, and Eve, an enslaved domestic woman.

The Art and Soul of African American Interpretation

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    Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation

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    Blacksburg, VA 24060

    Phone: 540-443-1600


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