Unearthing The Stories Within - 27 East

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Unearthing The Stories Within

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Cobblestone drive unearthed during archaeological digs at Sylvester Manor.

Cobblestone drive unearthed during archaeological digs at Sylvester Manor.

authorStaff Writer on Feb 15, 2020

Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, in partnership with Eastville Community Historical Society, will present “Narratives in the Making: Unearthing the Stories Within Us,” its 6th annual Black History Month Celebration at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on Sunday, February 23, at 2 p.m.

This year’s program will focus on how various components make up a historic story and the ways in which those stories are uncovered through social sciences, humanities, archaeology, oral history and documentation. Methods and practices for sharing and presenting those stories with the public will be explored.

Participating speakers Cordell Reeves and Dr. Christopher Matthews have backgrounds in archaeology, anthropology, museum and historic interpretation. They will highlight ways in which institutions and communities are uncovering the history of enslaved peoples where documentation and specific records are unable to tell the story. These exact methods are aiding the work being done at Sylvester Manor, Eastville Community Historical Society and elsewhere on the East End of Long Island.

Reeves has worked with museums and historic sites to coordinate exhibitions, design and implement programs, create community outreach initiatives and increase cultural heritage tourism. He uses history as a vehicle to help others examine their own sense of identity and community.

Dr. Matthews is a historical archaeologist and professor of anthropology at Montclair State. His research interests are the archaeology of capitalism and race in the United States and the practice of community-based research. His work is focused on sites associated with slavery and freedom, and he has directed field projects in Maryland, Louisiana, New York, and New Jersey. He is the author of two books, “An Archaeology of History and Tradition” and “The Archaeology of American Capitalism.” He is also co-editor of “Ethnographic Archaeologies: Reflections on Stakeholders and Archaeological Practice” as well as the author of several book chapters and articles in journals such as Historical Archaeology, Journal of Social Archaeology, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, and Archaeologies.

Once a Native American hunting and fishing ground, since 1652, Sylvester Manor has been home to 11 generations of its original European settler family. Over time, the property has been transformed from a slaveholding provisioning plantation to an enlightenment-era farm, then to a pioneering food industrialist’s estate and today is an organic educational farm responsive to, and supported by, neighbors and friends worldwide.

“Narratives in the Making: Unearthing the Stories Within Us” begins at 2 p.m. at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. The presentation will be followed by a reception at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance at sylvestermanor.org/black-history-2020 or 631-749-0626. The cost at the door is $20.

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