The Great Dismal Swamp. Worth reading. Worth listening. Really.

From the podcast 99% Invisible (NOT WRITTEN BY ME)

On the border of Virginia and North Carolina stretches a great, dismal swamp. ThGreat Dismal Swamp, actually — that’s the name British colonists gave it centuries ago. The swamp covers about 190 square miles today, but at its peak, before parts of it were drained and developed, it was around ten times bigger, spanning roughly 2,000 square miles of Virginia and North Carolina.

And it’s understandable why people called the swamp “dismal.” Temperatures can reach over 100 degrees. It’s humid and soggy, filled with thorns and thickets, teeming with all sorts of dangerous and unpleasant wildlife. The panthers that used to live there are now gone, but even today there are black bears, poisonous snakes, and swarms of yellow flies and mosquitoes.

But hundreds of years ago, before the Civil War, the dangers of the swamp and its seeming impenetrability actually attracted people to it. The land was so untamed that horses and boats couldn’t enter, and the colonists who were filing into the region detested it. William Byrd II, a Virginia planter, called it “a miserable morass where nothing can inhabit.” But people did inhabit the swamp, including thousands of enslaved Africans and African Americans who escaped their captors and formed communities in the swamp. This “dismal” landscape was the site of one of the most remarkable and least told stories of resistance to slavery in American history.

via The Great Dismal Swamp – 99% Invisible

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Remembering O.P.

Cleophas Adderley has gone. He has left us with exquisite, difficult music that is hard for ordinary mortals to perform but, which when mastered, sounds like the voice of heaven. We are blessed that he was allowed to walk with us, to talk with us, to be as human as he was with us.

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“Love of Country”: The consultant, culture, and what we spend money on

For those people who wonder what I think about the consultancy, who would like me to comment on the consultancy, or believe that by being awarded the consultancy, Ian Poitier has somehow disadvantaged me or mine or all of us, let me say this: I am absolutely convinced that Poitier’s contract offers value for money. I’ve read just one of the policy documents that Poitier produced as part of the terms of his consultancy, and as an author of policy documents myself, I can say unequivocally: 

It’s worth every penny. 

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The day after the day after

Elections are over. The Bahamian people have voted, and the vote was historic. It’s not just that it was the cleanest sweep ever in the history of party politics in our nation. It’s not just that for the first time since 2002 that any governing party has been elected by a simple majority of the […]

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