Letter about current events from Roberson Project

African American history is not a lesser part or sidelight of American history. African American history is American history.

— Houston Bryan Roberson,
late Professor of African American History
at the University of the South

In this soil, there is the sweat of the enslaved. In the soil there is the blood of victims of racial violence and lynching. There are tears in the soil from all those who labored under the indignation and humiliation of segregation. But in the soil there is also the opportunity for new life, a chance to grow something hopeful and healing for the future.

— Bryan Stevenson,
Executive Director,
Equal Justice Initiative

Dear University community,

The Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation condemns the racist violence that killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We feel what so many others, from Sewanee and elsewhere, are feeling now: sorrow, grief, and outrage over these needless deaths; an urgent wish that our country’s racial divisions can be healed, and a demoralizing recognition of how far we are from that goal. We stand in solidarity with Black students, alumni, faculty and staff at the University, and we fully support the Sewanee community’s determination to bear witness against racial division and injustice in this nation.

Continue reading “Letter about current events from Roberson Project”


Sewanee Black History Digitization Days
Group picture from the July 5th Digitization Day.

We had a productive summer kicking off our Save Sewanee Black History initiative. The Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation hosted two “digitization days” for present and former residents of the historical African American community of Sewanee and their descendants. The events have been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Common Heritage Grant. 

The goal of the events was to build a foundation for a community-based archive of Sewanee’s African American history by capturing and preserving the historical records and memories that are mostly missing from the official stories of Sewanee.

Continue reading “#SaveSewaneeBlackHistory”