24 Sep

February 27 – Master Builders of a Modern City

Who built this city?


This evening of conversation and performance with Dr. Ted Gordon and Ms. Jennifer Cumberbatch is part of our collaborative If these walls could talk exhibit.  Dr. Gordon will speak about the important role the institution of slavery played in the birth and growth of Austin and the realities of everyday life for the enslaved.  Ms. Cumberbatch will bring to life the memories of formerly enslaved Austinites and their families through a one-woman performance drawn from oral histories recorded during the 1930s through WPA funding.

Join us, Ms. Cumberbatch, and Dr. Gordon at the Neill-Cochran House Museum at 5:30 pm on February 27, 2020. Complimentary refreshments provided. Presentation begins at 6:00 pm.

Admission is $15 to the general public, $10 to donors at the Hill society level and above, and $5 to students with valid ID. Space is limited; while tickets are available at the door, we encourage patrons to register online.

Parking is available free to patrons in the museum lot located off of 23rd street between San Gabriel and Leon.

Register online for this event

Prefer not to register online? Call museum staff at 512.478.2335 or send us a note.

About the Speakers

Edmund T. Gordon is the founding chair of the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology of the African Diaspora, and Vice Provost for Diversity at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Gordon is also the former Associate Vice President of Thematic Initiatives and Community Engagement of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement as well as former Director of the Center for African and African American Studies at The University of Texas. His teaching and research interests include: Culture and power in the African Diaspora, gender studies (particularly Black males), critical race theory, race education, and the racial economy of space and resources. His publications include Disparate Diasporas: Identity and Politics in an African-Nicaraguan Community, 1998 UT Press. Dr. Gordon received his Doctorate in Social Anthropology from Stanford University and his Master’s of Arts from Stanford University in Anthropology and Master’s degree in Marine Sciences from the University of Miami.


Jennifer Rousseau Cumberbatch is a pastor, counselor, actress and playwright from Austin, the owner and founder of JR Cumberbatch Productions, and Cumberbatch Confections. Jennifer is sent out from Agape Christian Ministries, where she was an associate pastor, to found and establish Full Measure Ministries. She has written, starred in, staged and produced several productions, in Austin and throughout Texas. She has starred in her one woman show “R3: Real Life, Real Women, Real Stories”, “and performed as “Sadie” Delany in “Having our Say, the Delany Sisters First 100 Years”, and Sally Burditt in “The Bluebellies in Austin: Readings from the Travis Country Slave Narratives”. Jennifer worked with and was directed by the late and venerable Boyd Vance, founder and artistic director of the now defunct Pro Arts Collective. The Boyd Vance Theater at Austin’s Carver museum is named after this great artist and visionary and is the inspiration for Jennifer’s Production Company and passion to tell the stories of African Americans, Black people and all peoples with authenticity and depth in the context of the American landscape. A graduate of Brown University and Austin’s Seminary of the Southwest, Jennifer also preaches, teaches, leads retreats, and is a vocalist and published writer.