Black Guides of Mammoth Cave

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Black Guides of Mammoth Cave

Post by edfrank » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:41 pm

A number of my friends here in the NTS donated to my Indiegogo campaign to help fund my documentary "Black Guides of Mammoth Cave."

The Black Guides of Mammoth Cave is a documentary about the history and legacy of black guides at Mammoth Cave from the time of slavery until the present day. In 1838 three slaves were brought to Mammoth Cave to work as guides: Stephen Bishop, Materson Bransford, and Nick Bransford. Stephen Bishop became the greatest American Cave explorer who ever lived. He crossed what was known as the Bottomless Pit and discovered tens of miles of new passage in what is known now as the longest cave in the world. The trio spent a lifetime leading tours and exploring new passages in the cave. Many other black individuals have made major contributions to the history of the cave over the years. Leading tours in the cave and exploration became a family tradition for generations of guides both black and white. The Bransford family, for example, has had five generations work as guides in the cave from Mat Bransford, one of the original threes slave guides, to his great great grandson and present day guide Jerry Bransford. This is their story.

The documentary will have its premier broadcast on KET2 - in the Kentucky PBS network on February 26, 2017.
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I want to thank you for your support. I hope the documentary will go nationwide next year.

Edward Frank
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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Re: Black Guides of Mammoth Cave

Post by Rand » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:25 am

Congrats on getting this done and finding a broadcaster. It must have been a very long road.

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Re: Black Guides of Mammoth Cave

Post by wisconsitom » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:36 am

Indeed, very cool. I hope it makes it to Wisconsin PT.

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Bart Bouricius
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Re: Black Guides of Mammoth Cave

Post by Bart Bouricius » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:52 pm

Sounds fascinating Ed. I certainly hope to be able to watch it. I am in the middle of Edward Baptists book "The Half Has Never Been Told" about the roll of slavery in US economic history, and it is truly amazing and horrifying.

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Matt Markworth
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Re: Black Guides of Mammoth Cave

Post by Matt Markworth » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:26 pm

Bravo Ed! Bravo!

I was able to watch the 8pm - 9pm broadcast on KET and wow, very informative. Beyond telling a very important story that needed to be told, I think that the way slavery was dealt with by those that were interviewed was extremely powerful. It's going to cause a lot of viewers to reflect on slavery in a way they may have never done.


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