Boston from the Balcony: Stories from Old South’s Congregants of Color
Boston from the Balcony tells the story of congregants of color who attended the Old South Meeting House in eighteenth-century Boston. We follow the records of individuals including Ebenezer Way, Pompey Blackman, and Phillis Whitney to discover how these congregants loved, lived, and pursued freedom while a part of Boston’s vibrant community. This three-part podcast series invites us to consider how we tell the stories of the people in this historic site.
Episode 1: Love and Family
Deep in the winter of 1725, two enslaved congregants, an indigenous woman named Jane and a Black man named Ebenezer Way, celebrated their wedding day at Old South Meeting House. By following the Way family in this episode, we explore how congregants of color found love and built families within the context of slavery in Boston.
Episode 2: Liberty and Life
By 1756, Pompey Blackman was a free man; he married Patience, built a home, and worked in the city. His story is one example of how congregants of color experienced liberty in Boston, and how their pursuit of happiness was complicated by their relationships with the city, their enslavers, and each other. In this episode, we’ll explore how enslaved congregants obtained their liberty and how they lived out their lives of freedom.
Episode 3: Legacy and Everything Left Behind
Walking into the Old South Meeting House today, you’ll find yourself in a building that has been restored to look more or less like it would have in the colonial period. Many people have filled this space with stories, and this podcast explores the process of interpreting the records in order to tell some of those stories. In this final episode, we talk with different people who have researched and told the stories of the congregants of color who suffered, loved, gained freedom, and lived in Boston.
Boston from the Balcony is narrated by Quinn Buhman, Madeline Gartland, and Sophia Quast. This podcast is a collaboration by Carleton College’s history students: Quinn Buhman, Madeline Gartland, KatieRose Kimball, Phoebe Pugh, Sophia Quast, and Dane Swanser.
Learn more about Old South Meeting House