Memorializing William & Mary's Forgotten People / by Erin Hollaway Palmer + Brian Palmer

 The Wren Building, likely built by enslaved people in the late 1600s. College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, November 2014. Photo: BP 

The Wren Building, likely built by enslaved people in the late 1600s. College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, November 2014. Photo: BP 

Last night we attended an open discussion about the "forgotten people" of William & Mary, held in the college's Wren Building, a 300-plus-year-old structure likely built by enslaved people. The "forgotten" are African Americans upon whose labor the college's prosperity rested—from the enslaved, who cooked, cleaned, and even farmed W&M-owned land to raise cash to pay for scholarships for young white men; to the unsung workforce of the 20th and 21st centuries, some from my own family. Folks from the Williamsburg community and the college, including a wonderfully diverse group of students, discussed how the school and Williamsburgers might memorialize—and perhaps more importantly recognize—these people in ways that will endure. —BP

 Edith Heard, lifelong Williamsburger, at last night's Porch Talk sponsored by the Lemon Project. Wren Building, College of William & Mary, November 2014. Photo: BP

Edith Heard, lifelong Williamsburger, at last night's Porch Talk sponsored by the Lemon Project. Wren Building, College of William & Mary, November 2014. Photo: BP

 View toward the Sunken Garden from the steps of the Wren Building. College of William & Mary, November 2014. Photo: BP

View toward the Sunken Garden from the steps of the Wren Building. College of William & Mary, November 2014. Photo: BP