Brenda Parker

Historian / Griot / Narrator

Brenda Parker is the Coordinator of African American Interpretation and Special Projects at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Foremost she serves as a liaison between the institution’s mission to “preserve, maintain and restore” and the descendants of the enslaved at Mount Vernon. She researches and develops programs including the Lives, Loves, and Losses: Remembering the Families. She also works closely with the League of the Descendants of the Mount Vernon Enslaved, a newly formed organization. They freely allow and encourage her to portray their ancestors in the second part of her job as a Historical Character Interpreter. In this position, she narrates the stories of multiple persons individually or collectively in story format such as her play titled Freedom Skies.

Brenda Parker has worked for the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association for 17 years. She started working at the Mount Vernon Inn in 2004. She has thirty-plus years of acting, music, and theatre experience, as well as early childhood education. Additionally, she is the mother of four adult children, two beautiful and smart daughters-in-law, and is Griot to one exceptional tiny human being. Brenda believes in the Ghanaian ancestral saying of “Sankofa” To go back and get. In other words, we must learn from our past to get to our future.

November 22, 2021

Episode 3: Revolutions

Episode 3: “Revolutions” William Lee was George Washington’s trusted enslaved valet. For over two decades, he attended Washington from early morning until nightfall. In times of peace and war, Lee rode with Washington through...

November 15, 2021

Episode 2: Laboring

Episode 2: “Laboring” As an overseer, Davy Gray was entrusted by George Washington with the management of the enslaved laborers on Dogue Run Farm. His weekly reports to Washington revealed progress toward Washington’s goal of...

November 15, 2021

Episode 1: Passages

Episode 1: “Passages” Sambo Anderson was just a boy when he was captured in West Africa, survived the Middle Passage, and purchased by an ambitious George Washington sometime in the late 1760s. During his years of enslavement...

November 04, 2021

Introducing Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Intertwined tells the story of the more than 577 people enslaved by George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Told through the biographies of Sambo Anderson, Davy Gray, William Lee, Kate, Ona Judge, Nancy Carter Quander, ...