Season One | Episode 1

Episode One: Hidden History
Hosted by Dan Gediman. With
Patrick LewisVanessa Holden,  Ricky JonesSadiqa ReynoldsChanelle Helm, Sharon Murphy, Russ Bowlds, Brigitt Johnson, Loretta Williams, and Lisa Bowlds-Williams, and featuring Alec Volz, Susan Linville, and Mark Forman.    

The history of slavery is often taught as a bitter chapter of America’s past that has been rectified. But in Kentucky that history has been rarely acknowledged, and is poorly documented. This has made it particularly difficult for African American families to learn anything about their enslaved ancestors. We’ll meet one Black family just beginning to learn about their family’s connections to a plantation in Louisville.  Episode Transcript


Dr. Vanessa M. Holden

Vanessa M. Holden is an assistant professor of History and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky.

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Vanessa M. Holden is an assistant professor of History and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Holden’s current book project, tentatively titled, Surviving Southampton: Gender, Community, Resistance and Survival During the Southampton Rebellion of 1831(University of Illinois Press), explores the contributions that African American women and children, free and enslaved, made to the Southampton Rebellion of 1831, also called Nat Turner’s Rebellion.

Dr. Holden’s work and writing has been published in Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies, Perspectives on History, Process: A Blog for American History, and The Rumpus. She also blogs for Black Perspectives and The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History.

In addition to her work on enslaved women and slave rebellion, Dr. Holden also co-organizes the Queering Slavery Working Group (#QSWG) with Jessica Marie Johnson (Johns Hopkins University). Her second project, Forming Intimacies: Queer Kinship and Resistance in the Antebellum American Atlantic, will focus on same gender loving individuals and American slavery.

Dr. Holden also serves as a faculty adviser or consultant on a number of public history and digital humanities projects including: Freedom on the Move (a digital archive of runaway slave adds); Black Horsemen of the Kentucky Turf (an exhibit chronicling the intersecting histories of African Americans and the horse industry in Kentucky), and a grant project aimed at bringing a driving tour and museum to Southampton County, Virginia, that interprets the Southampton Rebellion.

Find her on Twitter @drvholden.

Dr. Ricky L. Jones

Dr. Ricky L. Jones is Professor and Chair of the University of Louisville’s Department of Pan-African Studies.

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Dr. Ricky L. Jones is Professor and Chair of the University of Louisville’s Department of Pan-African Studies.  A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Jones was educated as an undergraduate at the U.S. Naval Academy, Morehouse College (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s alma mater). He was only the second African-American to receive a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Kentucky where he specialized in Political Philosophy and Comparative Politics. His books include: two editions of “Black Haze: Violence, Sacrifice, and Manhood in Black Greek-Letter Fraternities” and “What’s Wrong with Obamamania?: Black America, Black Leadership, and the Death of Political Imagination.”

He is currently co-authoring a new book with attorney and award-winning cartoonist Marc Murphy titled, “Kaepernick, Confederates, and Con-Artists.” He has written hundreds of scholarly and magazine articles, book chapters and opinion columns. 

Dr. Jones has served as a local, national, and international social and political analyst across various media including appearances on HBO, CNN, Fox News, ESPN, the Travel Channel, a variety of NPR and PBS programs, the BBC, E! Entertainment, the Katie (Couric) Show, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, and many others. He is the host of the “Erasing History’ Podcast and the “Ricky Jones Show” from iHeart Media. The “Ricky Jones Show” was named Best of Louisville’s 2017 “Best Radio Show.”

He is a contributing opinion columnist for the Courier-Journal and USA Today Network for which he was named 2018 “best editorial/opinion columnist” by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Among many other honors, Jones has been named one of Louisville’s 25 Future Leaders by Louisville Magazine and was also recognized as one of DIVERSE Issues in Higher Education’s “25 to Watch in Academia.”  He is a life-member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Visit him at:

Follow on Twitter: @DrRickyLJones

Sadiqa N. Reynolds, esq.

Sadiqa Reynolds is the President and CEO of Louisville Urban League, the first woman to hold this title in the affiliate’s 95-year history. 

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Sadiqa Reynolds is the President and CEO of Louisville Urban League. Her appointment made her the first woman to hold this title in the affiliate’s 95-year history. She has previously served as Chief for Community Building in the Office of the Mayor where she oversaw approximately 1500 employees. Sadiqa serves on several boards including Fund for the Arts, the Louisville Chamber, WAVE3 Editorial Board, WDRD Advisory Board and is a Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.


She has served as District Judge for the 30th Judicial Court. She was also the first African American woman to clerk for the Kentucky Supreme Court when she served as Chief Law Clerk for the late Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens. Her life as a public servant also includes being the first African American to serve as Inspector General for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Services.


Prior to entering the public sector, Sadiqa owned and managed her private legal practice. Her practice included criminal litigation, employment law, death penalty litigation and serving as Guardian Ad Litem representing abused, neglected and dependent children as well as arguing successfully before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. She has also been recognized by the Louisville Bar Association for providing pro bono hours in which she represented domestic violence victims and other disadvantaged citizens.


Sadiqa earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Louisville and her law degree from the University of Kentucky. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Bates Memorial Baptist Church.


She is an advocate for mental health awareness and received the 2017 Community Leader of the Year Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness because of her work to reduce the stigma around mental health. She is also a proponent for Restorative Justice and participated in the face it campaign to end child abuse.


Under her leadership, the Louisville Urban League is committed to jobs, justice, education, health and housing. She has been featured on CNN’s Headline News for the Louisville Urban League’s work on the State of Black Louisville and been a guest on FOX News as well as the national Funky Politics podcast.


Sadiqa is a much sought-after speaker who has been recognized as a Business First Enterprising Woman to Watch and a Woman of Influence. She has been honored with a Tower Award, a Torch of Wisdom and named a Daughter of Greatness by the Muhammad Ali Center. She’s received the Fannie Lou Hamer award, for her commitment to justice and in 2016 was recognized as BizWomen’s Business Journal top 100 women to watch nationally. She was also recognized for her housing advocacy work by the Mortgage Banker’s Association and in 2017 was recognized as Louisville’s Communicator of the Year. Just this year she was honored to be named a recipient of the Gertrude E. Rush Award by the National Bar Association.


She has been featured on public radio, television and numerous print media outlets including the NY Times. She has two beautiful daughters Sydney, 8th grade and Wynter, 6th grade, both being educated in public schools. Sadiqa has received two honorary Doctorates, one from Spalding University and the other from Simmons College of Kentucky. Sadiqa Reynolds was the 2017 Louisville Magazine Person of Year and a 2018 National Urban League Woman of Power.

Chanelle Helm

Chanelle Helm is the core lead organizer with Black Lives Matter Louisville. 

Dr. Sharon A. Murphy

Sharon Ann Murphy is a professor of history at Providence College in Providence, RI, and the author of Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America.

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Sharon Ann Murphy is a professor of history at Providence College in Providence, RI. She is the author of Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America (2010, Johns Hopkins University Press), winner of the 2012 Hagley Prize for the best book in business history, and Other People’s Money: How Banking Worked in the Early American Republic (2017, Johns Hopkins University Press).

Her latest projects are an investigation of the public perception of banks around the Panic of 1819, and an examination of the relationship between banking and slavery in the United States during the nineteenth century.

Episode Bibliography

Learn more about slavery and its lasting effects in America by exploring the source materials referenced in The Reckoning. Our bibliography contains many items that are available to read or download for free. If you choose to purchase any of the books through the links provided, as an Amazon Associate, our non-profit organization Reckoning, Inc. earns commissions from qualifying purchases.

Bullitt, Thomas W. (paid link) My Life at Oxmoor; Life on a Farm in Kentucky Before the War. Louisville: Filson, 1911. Read Free at Internet Archive

Coleman, J Winston. (paid link) Slavery Times in Kentucky. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1940.

Jones, Ricky L. (paid link) Black Haze: Violence, Sacrifice, and Manhood in Black Greek-Letter Fraternities. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2015.

Klotter, James C., Friend, Craig Thompson. (paid link) A New History of Kentucky. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2018.

Klotter, Freda C. and Klotter, James C. (paid link) A Concise History of Kentucky. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2008.

Lewis, Patrick.  (paid link) For Slavery and Union: Benjamin Buckner and Kentucky Loyalties in the Civil War. University Press of Kentucky, Mar 9, 2015

McDougle, Ivan E.  (paid link) Slavery in Kentucky, 1792-1865. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Press of the New Era Printing Company, 1918. Digitized by Google Books, 2006. Read Free at Google Books

Murphy, Sharon A. “Banking on Slavery in the Antebellum South”. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Economic History Workshop, May 1, 2017.

Murphy, Sharon A. (paid link) Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2010.

Young, Amy L. and Young, J. Blaine Hundson. “Slave Life at Oxmoor”, Filson Club History Quarterly, Summer 2000, Vol. 74, NO. 3. Read Free at Filson

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