Joseph McGill recently spent a night sleeping on the floor of a nineteenth-century cabin on the campus of Sweet Briar College in Virginia. The cabin was the home to slaves and free Blacks who once worked on a plantation at the site of what is now the college campus. It is the only remaining structure among the 28 slave dwellings that once existed on the plantation.
McGill is the founder of the Slave Dwelling Project. He travels throughout the South spending the night in dwellings that used to house slaves in an effort to bring publicity to his efforts to preserve these historical buildings as a reminder of our past. His visit to Sweet Briar College is the first time he has slept in a former slave dwelling that now sits on a college campus. In addition to spending the night in the cabin, McGill presented a public lecture in the Sweet Briar Museum.