WADING BETWEEN TWO TITANS: 1. Port City, from Generation to Generation

The ocean is Norfolk’s greatest ally and worst enemy.

It bore enslaved Africans to the city’s shore and hid them as they escaped bondage. The ocean supports the region’s biggest industry: Naval defense. And the ocean creeps into the homes of Norfolk residents, as well as the Naval station—threatening livelihoods, histories and futures.

Transcriptions for this and all episodes are available at www.twotitans.org.

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This episode features interviews with Tommy L Bogger (Norfolk State University), Cassandra Newby-Alexander (NSU), as well as the voices of Johnny Finn, Jackie Glass, Vincent Hodges, Monét Johnson, Andria McClellan Skip Stiles, Kim Sudderth, and Paul Riddick. Voice actors are reading memoirs and interviews of John Thompson, Ishmael (Virginia Gazette), and interviews with formerly enslaved people originally recorded in writing through the Works Progress Administration Virginia Writers Project. The names of the WPA interviewees are Charles Grandy (Norfolk), Matilda Carter (Hampton Roads), and Fannie Nicholson (Hampton Roads).

Sources:

Blackjacks: African American seamen in the age of sail. Jeffrey L Bolster.

Free Blacks in Norfolk, Virginia, 1790-1860: The Darker Side of Freedom. Tommy L. Bogger.

Slavery and American Sea Power: The Navalist Impulse in the Antebellum South. Matthew J. Karp.

Weevils in the Wheat: Interviews with Virginia Ex-Slaves. Thomas E. Barden and Charles L. Perdue Jr.

Find out more at https://wading-between-two-titans.pinecast.co

2024-25 The Repair Lab at the University of Virginia