Aired: February 23, 2018

Invisible Founders


Crystal Rosson looks at a photo of her great-grandfather. Image source: Crystal Rosson, used with permission.

  • Summit on Slavery (3 min.)

    With: Carol Dove and Alease Vaughan

    Scholars, historic interpreters, and descendants of enslaved people recently gathered at Montpelier, the home of James Madison. They were there to create a rubric for historic sites who want to engage descendant communities in their work.

  • Rooted in a Place (12 min.)

    With: Justin Reid (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities)

    Justin Reid tells the story of how he set out to find the plantation where his great-great grandfather was enslaved, and what he found there.

  • Teaching Tough History (13 min.)

    With: Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries

    Historian Hasan Kwame Jeffries says why we need to do more to teach our kids about African American history, even when it covers tough subjects.

  • Invisible Founders (8 min.)

    With: Crystal Rosson

    Crystal Rosson is the great-granddaughter of Sterling Jones Sr., who worked at the former Sweet Briar Plantation, now Sweet Briar College. Rosson shares her family’s history and explains why research by African American genealogists matters as they discover more about the integral role of African Americans in Virginia’s history.

  • American History as told by Descendants (16 min.)

    With: Dr. Michael Blakey (William and Mary)

    Anthropologist Dr. Michael Blakey discusses why historical sites must consider the needs and wishes of descendants.

  • “A Physical Place I Could Feel Rooted In”: A Virtual Tour of a Slave Dwelling

    Justin Reid’s great-great grandfather Reverend Jacob Randolph Sr., who was enslaved at Ampthill Plantation as a child

    James Madison’s Montpelier recently hosted a National Summit on Slavery. They convened scholars, museum professionals, and members of descendant communities to talk about how historic sites can change the way slavery is taught and understood in America.

    One of the people at the Montpelier summit was Justin Reid, Director of African American Programs at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, who in 2014 set out to find the Virginia plantation where his ancestors had been enslaved. And he found it.

    “I remember as I was looking around, I was standing between the kitchen slave quarter and the main house, like kinda towards the back,” says Reid. “It just came out of nowhere—it was a shock, right—when you have a rush of emotion you don’t expect. It wasn’t this gradual sense of sadness. It wasn’t a sadness, it wasn’t anger, but it was this overwhelming sense of completion. I set out on this journey and I’m here.”

    Justin recently worked with our colleagues at Encyclopedia Virginia to take 360-degree imagery of a slave dwelling at Ampthill.  


2 Comments on “Invisible Founders”

  1. Cara Leon

    Why have a share button for entire episodes when it does not work for any past episodes? The Facebook share for each individual segment works, but not the entire show.

    1. With Good Reason Post author

      Hi Cara,

      I’m not sure I understand, but am happy to try and address the issue over the phone. I’m at 434-924-6895. Best, Kelley

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