An MTSU student whose interest in his family history led to his involvement in an interdisciplinary academic project was the guest on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dravidi Pasha, a senior information systems major, first aired April 19 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org.
You can hear their conversation at the SoundCloud link above.
Pasha participated in “Places, Perspectives: African American Community-Building in Tennessee, 1860-1920,” along with representatives of the James E. Walker Library, the Department of Geosciences and the Center for Historic Preservation.
The purpose of this research project is to document, map and chronicle the stories of rural African American communities in Fayette, Greene, Hardeman and Maury counties, combining historical narrative with interactive maps that pinpoint the locations of churches, schools and cemeteries.
Pasha had been involved in some amateur genealogical research into his own family tree before joining the project. He discovered that one of his ancestors started out in bondage and became a liberator of his people.
“My third great-grandfather, Nelson Bowles, was a former slave,” Pasha said. “Upon the Union soldiers coming in to raid the plantations and release the slaves, he actually joined the Civil War. He enlisted in the U.S. Colored Troops’ 59th Infantry Regiment, and I believe it was Company D.”
Pasha said he also learned that Bowles entered the Army as a private and left as a sergeant with pension benefits.
To learn more about the “Places, Perspectives” project, contact Ken Middleton, digital initiatives librarian and professor at Walker Library, at email@example.com.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to www.mtsunews.com and click “More” under “Audio Clips.”
For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.