Not Even Past is produced by Encyclopedia Virginia at Virginia Humanities. Hosted by Editor Brendan Wolfe, it's for history lovers but also for people who just love a good story. In each episode, Wolfe combs through the encyclopedia looking for the most interesting people and the most provocative questions. This podcast is produced by Miranda Bennett

Episode 1: He Danced His Way to Jail

Host Brendan Wolfe introduces us to Christopher McPherson, a free black man who knew Jefferson, dined with Madison, and worked for George Wythe. He also predicted the end of the world. Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett also interview Deborah Murdock who owns properties where McPherson once worked.


Episode 2: One of the Twenty

Host Brendan Wolfe examines the life of Angela, one of the first twenty Africans to arrive at Jamestown in 1619. On the 400th anniversary of that propitious moment in Virginia history, Historic Jamestowne is looking in earnest for signs of Angela and her fellow Africans. Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett interview Chardé Reid, an archaeologist working on the site.


Episode 3: The Fighting Editor

Host Brendan Wolfe admires the African American newspaperman John Mitchell Jr. Known as the Fighting Editor, Mitchell was willing to strap on a pair of Smith & Wesson revolvers and risk his own death in the fight against lynching. His life ended on a sad note, though, and today he is largely forgotten—or he might have been if not for Kimberly Wilson. A Mitchell relative living in Richmond, she tells Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett how she keeps his memory alive.


Episode 4: He Was Who He Needed to Be

Host Brendan Wolfe considers the life of Henry Martin, a formerly enslaved man who for years worked as a janitor at the University of Virginia. Something of a mascot, something of a joke—that’s how the community treated him but underneath that was a black man just attempting to survive. Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett interview Edwina St. Rose and Bernadette Whitsett-Hammond, local historians working to maintain the cemetery where Martin is buried and tease out the stories of Charlottesville’s black community.


Episode 5: A Voice Out of Slavery

Host Brendan Wolfe marvels at the power of Bethany Veney’s writing, which tells the story of her life in slavery, the time she foiled an attempt to sell her, and her journey to freedom. Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett also talk to Jobie Hill, an architectural historian who reads such narratives in order to better understand the spaces in which enslaved people like Veney lived their lives.


Episode 6: A Poet on Pierce Street

Host Brendan Wolfe travels to 1313 Pierce Street, the Lynchburg home of Anne Spencer, a poet, gardener, and luminary of the Harlem Renaissance. What can her home tell us about this accomplished and sometimes eccentric woman? Wolfe and producer Miranda Bennett also sit down with Spencer’s granddaughter, Shaun Hester, who operates the house as a museum.