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A new book explores the politics of age in the Antebellum South

Seniors have long held a place of reverence in Black families. Whether the family matriarch commands the comings and goings in the kitchen or the family’s eldest male is automatically designated to bless the food at a cookout or reunion, the oldest members of Black communities are honored and respected.

But have you ever considered how far back that practice of deference goes?

In his new book, Black Elders: The Meaning of Age in American Slavery and Freedom, Frederick C. Knight explores the timeline of the Black community’s reverence for its elders.

Guest

Frederick C. Knight, professor of history at Morehouse College and author of Black Elders: The Meaning of Age in Slavery and Freedom

Leoneda Inge is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Stacia L. Brown is a writer and audio storyteller who has worked in public media since 2016, when she partnered with the Association of Independents in Radio and Baltimore's WEAA 88.9 to create The Rise of Charm City, a narrative podcast that centered community oral histories. She has worked for WAMU’s daily news radio program, 1A, as well as WUNC’s The State of Things. Stacia was a producer for WUNC's award-winning series, Great Grief with Nnenna Freelon and a co-creator of the station's first children's literacy podcast, The Story Stables. She served as a senior producer for two Ten Percent Happier podcasts, Childproof and More Than a Feeling. In early 2023, she was interim executive producer for WNYC’s The Takeaway.