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Free Black Communities and the Underground RailroadThe Geography of Resistance$
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Cheryl Janifer LaRoche

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038044

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038044.001.0001

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Destination Freedom

Destination Freedom

(p.156) Chapter 9 Destination Freedom
Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad

Cheryl Janifer LaRoche

University of Illinois Press

By focusing on the geography of resistance and its landscape features in four different Black settlements, this book has cast a different light on the nature of Black escape from slavery and the history of Underground Railroad activities. It has shown that free Blacks carried out much of the clandestine work of the Underground Railroad as they sought freedom in pre-Civil War America, thus contributing in a significant way to the efforts inside one of the world's most successful resistance movements. Whether urban or rural, Black settlements positioned at the borders between northern and southern states or at other critical junctures acted as the first line of freedom while simultaneously offering sanctuary to escaping captives. The book has also highlighted migration as a means of escape for fleeing slaves, as well as the crucial roles played by Black churches, Black families, and Black abolitionists in the success of the Black underground. This concluding chapter summaries the book's research strategies and the future implications of its findings for reshaping modern interpretation of the Underground Railroad.

Keywords:   resistance, Black settlements, slavery, Underground Railroad, free Blacks, freedom, Black churches, Black families, Black abolitionists, migration

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