Third Sunday Archeology: The 'Audacious' Children of Africa

Negro church ca 1910 Brownlee

Event Details

Date: February 18, 2018

Times: 2 p.m.

Location: Edith Mortenson Center Theatre

Ticket Info: Free and open to the public

February's installment of Augustana's Third Sunday Archeology Program will feature speaker William J. Hunt Jr., retired archeologist for the Midwest Archeological Center, on "The 'Audacious' Children of Africa and Their Circuitous Route to Nebraska" at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 18, in the Edith Mortenson Center Theatre.

The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question/answer session. Refreshments will be served.

Hunt’s presentation will tell the story of DeWitty, Nebraska, later renamed Audacious, and the black homesteaders who founded it. It was established in 1906 and settled by former slaves and black Canadian immigrants. But the deeper story is one of terroristic abduction in the early 1800s, unwilling transport followed by slavery in a new, unknown world and strange culture. It is the story of brutality, suppression, a quest for freedom, and finding refuge in Canada. The tale finally culminates in the acquisition that drove every pioneer, “a piece of land of my own,” and the surprising community of white and black farmers and ranchers who lived and worked as respected equals for more than 30 years.

William J. Hunt, Jr.About speaker William J. Hunt Jr.

William J. Hunt Jr., retired as a senior archeologist with the National Park Service, Midwest Archeological Center, Lincoln, Nebraska. He holds an M.A and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s American Civilization Dept., Historical Archeology Program. He has over 35 years of experience in prehistoric and historical archeology. One of his primary interests is the culture history and historic archeology of the fur trade in North America. From 2005-2008, he served as project director for a system wide archeological inventory in Sitka National Historical Park, Alaska’s oldest federally designated park. Hunt has recently become involved in efforts to recognize and document the history of DeWitty, Nebraska, the longest lasting, most successful black settlement in Nebraska.

This program is funded in part by the David B. Jones Foundation, Augustana University’s Mellon Fund Committee, Augustana’s Archeology Laboratory and the Sioux Falls Chapter of the South Dakota Archaeological Society.

Up Next

In March, Rob Bozell, associate director and state archeologist for the Nebraska State Historical Society, will speak about "New Archeological Investigation of Plains Apaches in the Nebraska Sand Hills" at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, in Froiland Science Complex room 113A/B.

L. Adrien Hannus
Director, Archeology Lab
Augustana University