This Black Guides of Mammoth Cave blog site has been moved to  https://edwardforrrestfrank.wordpress.com/blackguides/  as part of a site consolidation.  This iteration of the blog will be deleted soon.

The Black Guides of Mammoth Cave is a documentary about the history and legacy of black guides at Mammoth Cave from the time of slavery until the present day.  The broadcast premier of documentary Black Guides of Mammoth Cave, produced by Edward Edward Forrest Frank, Phoebe Frear, and Steven Barnes is going to be shown on February 26, at 8 pm ET and 7 pm CT, on KET2.  With several additional replays over the following week,

A DVD video of the documentary Black Guides of Mammoth Cave may be ordered on February 26th for $19.95 plus shipping and handling. Streaming purchases will also be available from the site http://www.blackguidesofmammothcave.com/

In 1838 three slaves were brought to Mammoth Cave to work as guides: Stephen Bishop, Materson Bransford, and Nick Bransford.  Stephen Bishop became the greatest American Cave explorer who ever lived.  He crossed what was known as the Bottomless Pit and discovered tens of miles of new passage in what is known now as the longest cave in the world.  The trio spent a lifetime leading tours and exploring new passages in the cave.  Many other black individuals have made major contributions to the history of the cave over the years. Leading tours in the cave and exploration became a family tradition for generations of guides both black and white. The Bransford family, for example, has had five generations work as guides in the cave from Mat Bransford, one of the original threes slave guides, to his great great grandson and present day guide Jerry Bransford. This is their story.


2 Responses to About

  1. Edward Forrest Frank says:

    Name: Roger Brucker
    Website: http://www.RogerBrucker.com
    Comment: African American guides of Mammoth Cave have been described as symbols of “bad” and “good” symbols of racism. Few accounts, historical or contemporary, describe their prowess as cave explorers, their discoveries as products of their curiosity and diligence, or their humanity as people of intelligence embedded in the institution of slavery. This project promises to shine the light of truth on what many have missed. “Grand, Gloomy, and Peculiar; Stephen Bishop at Mammoth Cave,” is my contribution to explain the heart of and obsession of the cave explorer — and Stephen was one of the best for many reasons.

  2. Edward Forrest Frank says:

    The above post was a comment made by cave explorer and author Roger Brucker. I reposted it here where it was intended.

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