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The Other Madisons | Notes for a documentary film

Sequence: Mandy’s Funeral at James Madison’s Montpelier

The enslaved graveyard is strategically situated in a wooded area southeast of the main house of James and Dolly Madison. It was there that we believe were put to rest the ancestors of Bettye Kearse, author of The Other Madisons, griot memories of eight generations, starting with Mandy, the first African in her family to serve as property at Montpelier, household-plantation of the 4th president of the United States, and his father before him.

In the documentary film, based on Ms. Kearse’s book, and currently in production, we are introducing for the sequence establishing the burial of Mandy Adowa tunes, music of the Ga people of Ghana which, as we currently understand, were the traditional roots of Mandy.

The recordings use to score the aforementioned sequence, pertain to an exquisite recording by Folkways Records, New York 1978 recorded and annotated by Barbara L. Hampton. This recording is being now research for copyright clearance which we’re hoping will be granted for the purpose of giving credibility to the historical reconstruction. For more information about the actual album and recording, please visit album data.

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