“Revisiting the Tolson’s Chapel Community: Conversations from Past to Present”

This educational program was created by the Friends of Tolson’s Chapel Experiential Learning Committee, a dedicated group of volunteers committed to bringing to life the community of this most important National Historic Landmark: Tolson’s Chapel and School, located near Antietam National Battlefield.

Episode One: “Freedom”

The Freedom Episode includes a mini-documentary about slavery and freedom before and during America’s Reconstruction Era as experienced by African Americans in the South and in Sharpsburg, Maryland. You will hear from Nancy Camel, a member of the Tolson’s Chapel community, played by Brenda Parker, who tells her story about being born enslaved and later freed just before the Civil War. The program ends with a live guided question and answer interaction or conversation, exploring what Freedom meant for African Americans after the Civil War in Western Maryland, and how that experience relates to the social justice issues faced by Black Americans today. The panel features historians and educators, including:

ZSun-nee Miller-Matema, moderator

Bridgett Jones Smith

Emilie Amt

Edie Wallace

Our special guest performer and panelist is Brenda Parker, a veteran Scholar Performer representing African Americans throughout our history. Her work as the head of African American interpretation at Mount Vernon, helps tell the stories of the people who were enslaved there hundreds of years ago (NPR Story:




You can view this program via Facebook Live on Friday, May 28, 2021 at 7:00pm.

Register here: