Massachusetts Historical Society


Back From Canada, After the Underground Railroad: Recovering Family Stories & Tracing a Mass Migration in the Emancipation Generation of Black North Americans


Author: Adam Arenson, Manhattan College
Irene Moore Davis, Public Historian & President of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society
Comment: dann j. Broyld, University of Massachusetts Lowell

This is an online event.

Tens of thousands of Black North Americans returned to the United States during the Civil War, Reconstruction, and in the decades that followed—while thousands of others migrated north into Canada in these years. These short chapters, drawn from a book nearing completion, will examine how some border-crossing families were able to seize educational or economic advantages through migration, even in the years when legal racism was the norm in both countries. Tracing a handful of families, they will emphasize the different paths in freedom that border-crossers made.

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