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    Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad

    By: Cheryl Janifer Laroche

    Date Released

    Out of Print

    "In Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad, Cheryl LaRoche brings the tools of archaeology to the study of the Underground Railroad movement. Unlike previous histories of the Underground Railroad, which have focused on frightened fugitive slaves and their benevolent abolitionist accomplices, this study examines the interactions of those fleeing slavery, the Black communities that helped them, and the terrain where their struggles occurred. LaRoche's approach foregrounds the African Americanswho were at the forefront of the movement, or "on the front-line of freedom." Small rural pre-Civil War free Black border communities were conduits for escape. As the first points of entry into the treacherous southern regions of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, Black communities in the southernmost counties bordering the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers were positioned to offer sanctuary to anyone able to escape slavery. LaRoche explores oral family and personal histories, memories, documents, maps, memoirs and archaeological investigations of the historic communities of Rocky Fork and Miller Grove in Illinois, Lick Creek, Indiana, and Poke Patch, Ohio. These untold stories of the Underground Railroad reveal a geography of resistance viewed through local African-American strategies for equal rights and social justice"--

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