Pathway to Freedom: Underground Railroad Symposium

The Underground Railroad-the resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, through the end of the Civil War-refers to the efforts of the enslaved African Americans, and those that assisted them, to escape bondage.

Efforts to escape were were often opportunistic, but many were complex secret plans with assistance from others, often called conductors. Harriet Tubman is known as the most famous “conductor.” The methods and routes varied and included escape by both land and sea. These acts of self-emancipation labeled slaves as “fugitives,” “escapees,” or “runaways,” but “freedom seeker” is a more accurate description.

During each subsequent decade in which slavery was legal in the United States, there was an increase in active efforts to assist escape, and a refinement in the varied ways this was done.

Through the symposium, we will deepen our understanding of this remarkable movement and how it changed over the decades. The agenda for the day includes a film presentation, numerous academic speakers, a performance of Songs of Freedom and the Underground Railroad by the Craven Community College Choir and three paneled sessions; The First Underground Railroad in North America , The Second and Last Underground Railroads, 1800 – 1865, and Legacies of America’s Underground Railroads.

More details to come!