Borders Brothers – Alabama Joiners: From Slavery to Freedom

Presented by Christopher Lang, Independent Scholar

Brothers Levic and Griffin Borders grew up in slavery in Georgia and Alabama.  Trained in carpentry, the brothers made an early name for themselves creating furniture and building homes in central Alabama while still bound in slavery.  Their career spanned the 19th century from the 1840s on.  The illustrated presentation looks at the contributions made by the Borders brothers to Alabama architectural history and the decorative arts.  The story is told through detailed photographs taken during the Works Progress Administration Historic American Building Survey, in the 1930s, featuring the Borders Plantation and outbuildings, located near Anniston, Alabama.  Particular attention is given to the treatment of fireplace mantels throughout the home which illustrate their skills and craftsmanship. Also highlighted is a signed side board which depicts their cabinetmaking skills.  An inventory of Griffin’s carpentry, tools taken in 1867, sheds light on the tools and techniques as well as the methods employed by these craftsmen.

A large screen for slide projections and a microphone are requested. A table will also be needed for display items.

Contact Christopher Lang to book this presentation
swcjlang@mindspring.com
(256) 882-5530