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In honor of our Dorothy. – Sarah Alderman
  • Dorothy 'Dot' Carter came into my life like all the best do: suddenly, and without my doing. I spotted her at the Coatesville Centennial celebration looking mighty cute in a bun and bow, a sweater draped across her shoulders. Something drew me to her like a magnet, and I would find out later, that sort of thing was nothing new to Miss Dot. She was the sort of woman that drew you in.

    The widow of Coatesville artist and former Negro League Philadelphia Stars player Lee Carter, Miss Dot herself was no slouch. Along with two of her neighbors, she led a movement to integrate Coatesville's schools, which were being led by resistant leadership, even as the Governor had called for an end to segregation. She raised seven children, and spent her last days with daughter Jackie in the home Dorothy and Lee had built so many decades before.

    During our first recording session at her home, Dorothy or her daughter casually mentioned The Museum, as if I knew of it, or maybe had even come because of it. Seeing the confused look on my face, they explained they had converted their detached garage to the Road to Freedom Underground Railroad Museum. Right there, next to their home, on an unassuming street in Valley Township.

    Miss Dot passed on September 3, 2015. We were fortunate to have her voice serve as such an integral part of this work; this story is one of many that she has shared with our project. Her quick wit and tenacity will be missed as we go on, and her friendship is a gift we will hold on to extra tight.

    All images and audio © Sarah Alderman for BYPASSED
    Audio editing: Aadil Malik
    Music: Grizzly Bear 'The Foreground', instrumental
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