Uncovering the Impact of Black Craftspeople

Black Craftspeople Digital Archives Partnership

Founded in 2019, Black Craftspeople Digital Archive (BCDA) brings together scholars, students, curators, and archivists to collect and share the stories of Black craftspeople while enriching public understanding of the full history of the American South. CAHPT is working with BCDA to research the lives of Black craftspeople and the objects they produced at Millford, Ayr Mount, and Roper House. This work will support BCDA in its efforts to direct scholarly attention to Black skill in the slaveholding South.

BCDA will begin a new phase of research focused on North Carolina by collaborating with CAHPT on a study of Ayr Mount. Though only the mansion house survives, the nineteenth-century work yard of Ayr Mount included several outbuildings, including a dairy, barn, kitchen, and smokehouse, with over 20 enslaved individuals living and working at the site. This collaboration will strengthen both BCDA and CAHPT by promoting the public’s understanding of all of Ayr Mount’s occupants.

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