Smithsonian Channel will unearth the stories of slaves who found refuge in The Great Dismal Swamp in an upcoming film as part of its Black History Month programming.
From Story House Productions and Smithsonian Channel, Escape To The Great Dismal Swamp features a team of archeologists who excavate centuries-old artifacts to provide concrete evidence that several settlements existed in the vast and impenetrable swamp that covers parts of Virginia and North Carolina
These findings, combined with animated renderings of cabins and a defensive fort, help historians imagine what life in the swamp might have looked like centuries ago. The resourceful and self-governing people lived and worked together on small islands, raising families and organizing themselves to survive.
Tens of thousands of African Americans may have lived in the Great Dismal Swamp over the centuries, surrounded by slave-holding communities hostile to their existence.
Also featured in Escape To The Great Dismal Swamp is a Dismal Swamp descendant, Eric Sheppard of Suffolk, Va., who relays stories of his ancestor Moses Grandy, and Elaine Nichols and Mary Elliott of the National Museum of African American History and Culture share their informed perspective of what the artifacts mean to a history thought to have been lost.
Escape To The Great Dismal Swamp premieres Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.