Joseph McGill, a program officer with National Trust for Historic Preservation, will speak at Claflin University on Thursday, Jan. 19.

McGill has drawn national attention for his Slave Dwelling Project initiative, which seeks to garner increased recognition and resources for the restoration of former slave dwellings used in the antebellum South. For the cause, McGill has slept in more than a dozen slave dwellings in the Southeast. His work in this area has been featured by NPR and several local publications.

This program is sponsored by The Humanities CouncilSC, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities; inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for our students and the community at-large to hear about an innovative historical research project,” said Dr. Millicent Brown, associate professor of history and sociology. “Through his work over years, Joseph McGill has gained a unique perspective on the lives of slaves before, during and after the Civil War. I am thrilled he will soon share that perspective at Claflin University.”

With the National Trust for Historic Preservation, McGill is responsible for administering restoration projects in Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina. Previously, he served as executive director of the African-American Historical Museum and the Cultural Center of Iowa where he secured funding and developing historical programs. He was also director of history and culture at the Penn Center in St. Helena Island, S.C.

McGill is the founder of Company “I” 54th Massachusetts Reenactment Regiment, a Civil War reenactment group based in Charleston. The 54th Massachusetts was the regiment portrayed in the Academy Award winning film “Glory”. McGill has been a park ranger at Fort Sumter National Monument responsible for organizing events and conducting living history presentations.

In addition, he is a commissioner for the S.C. African-American Heritage Commission, a board member for the proposed International African-American Museum, a founding member of the S.C. African-American History Alliance and on the S.C. Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.

Joseph McGill is a native of Kingstree, S.C. and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He is married to the former Vilarin Mozee and the couple has a daughter, Jocelyn.

To Learn More

For more information on the event, contact Dr. Millicent Brown by phone at (803) 535-5688 or by e-mail at

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