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Historian Hilary Green On Unearthing The Stories Of The Enslaved People Who Built A University

The big state universities of the South — the places so many of us went to school, and still root for on football Saturdays — were often, and largely, built by enslaved people.

hilary green photo.jpg

That was certainly true at the University of Alabama, where a historian named Hilary Green came to work as a professor a few years ago.

Her research into that hidden history led to a project called Hallowed Grounds, which includes a campus tour that nearly 5,000 people have taken.

I spoke to Hilary Green about what that work means to her, and why it matters — especially in a time when we’re in a national debate over just what our history really is.

Show notes

Other music in this episode

  • Uncan, "Past"
  • John Woodard, "History Repeats (Instrumental)"
Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary that airs every Monday. He's the author of "The Elephant in the Room," a memoir about life as an overweight man in a growing America. He spent 23 years as a reporter and local columnist for the Charlotte Observer, where he was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in commentary. He has also written for publications including Esquire, ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Garden & Gun. He’s a graduate of the University of Georgia and was a 2008-09 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Tommy and his wife, Alix Felsing, live in Charlotte.