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Interpreting African-American History in the President’s Neighborhood

Many people think of the White House as a symbol of democracy, but it also embodies America’s complicated past and the paradoxical relationship between slavery and freedom in the nation’s capital, including the president's neighborhood.

In recognition of Black History Month, this episode of White House History Live will explore new educational tools and visuals for teaching and learning African-American history. Director of K-12 Education Samantha Hunter-Gibbs will discuss the Decatur House Slave Quarters with historians Lina Mann and Sarah Fling, and Decatur House Advisory Council member Stephen E. Hammond, an independent historian who has researched the Syphax family for decades and is a descendant of Nancy Syphax, a woman who was enslaved at Decatur House.

They will highlight new elements such as an educational video on slavery at the Jefferson White House; a revamped tour of the Decatur House Slave Quarters; silhouettes of enslaved workers Charlotte Dupuy, Nancy Syphax, and James Williams; and artistic renderings of the space ca. 1844. All of these resources are available on the Slavery in the President's Neighborhood webpage.

White House Historical Association