Listen

Boundary and Horizon: The Mississippi River in African-American History


Angie da Silva is a historian of black cultural life in the United States, going back to the Civil War. She collects stories, both through oral history and archival research. But she's not merely a writer. She brings these stories to life through historical reenactment, often as a slave character she's created named Lila.  She says that the stories she hears and tells are too often left out of our history books.

In this interview, she talks about her work and tells the story of Mary Meachum, a free black abolitionist who worked on the Mississippi in St. Louis.