PhilaStories.org engages in various projects in the Greater Philadelphia area. Following are a few examples of projects past, present, and future.
From 1919 to 1952 if you were an African-American joining the Philadelphia Fire Department you were sent to either Engine 11 or Fireboat 1. Engine 11 was located at 10th and South Street. The stories of Engine 11 are told by 5 African-American's, Lloyd Ama, Clarence Brogden, Waldo Gentry, Walter Lindsay, and Alfred Ward, who all worked at Engine 11. In addition, we have collected stories told by other members of the community who have memories of Engine 11.
Philadelphia Stories of Slavery
PhilaStories.org has been documenting stories of slavery located in the Greater Philadelphia area. This is our effort to use location based storytelling using Findery. All stories can be accessed using the Findery app on your phone when you are near the location of the story. You can also access the stories on the Findery website under the notemap, Philadelphia Stories of Slavery.
Dark to Light
Dark to Light (d2l) is our effort to identify, memorialize and tell the stories of those who were enslaved in the Greater Philadelphia area.
"It is necessary, while in darkness, to know that there is light somewhere, to know, that in oneself, waiting to be found, there is a light. What the light reveals is danger, and what it demands is faith." James Baldwin
PhilaStories.org effort with d2l is only a piece of the puzzle of slavery. We recognize that there are projects all over the country gathering information about the people and places of slavery. There is a need for more people digging in the weeds and bringing to light information that is slowly deteriorating. PhilaStories.org is calling for a nationwide effort to digitize and organize all of the information about slavery in a single repository for continued research and study.
Currently, we are researching the names of people who were enslaved in the Philadelphia area. Creating a database that can be accessed by anyone. Our goal is to remember these individuals by placing a small mosaic in the sidewalk of their last known address that states their name and dates of manumission and release or death. In addition, we will write or record a story about the individual using whatever information we can discover. Access to the stories can be achieved by using an app on your phone at the site of the mosaic or on our website.