Profs & Pints: The Reverse Underground Railroad
Profs and Pints presents: The Reverse Underground Railroad, with Rick Bell, associate professor of history at the University of Maryland and author of Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home.
What if the Underground Railroad had an evil counterpart that ran in the opposite direction and transported people from freedom to captivity? What if there was a black-market network of human traffickers and slave traders who made their livings by stealing away thousands of free African Americans from the northern states in order to sell them into slavery in the Deep South?
Believe it or not such a thing existed. The most famous unwilling rider on this Reverse Underground Railroad was Solomon Northup, the author of Twelve Years a Slave and the subject of the Oscar-winning movie from 2013. But Northup was far from the only prisoner-passenger. Over the first six decades of the nineteenth century, kidnappers stole thousands upon thousands of free black people, the vast majority of them children, from the streets of cities like Philadelphia. The victims were trafficked overland across the country, a journey of two million steps, and sold into slavery in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.
In this gripping, eye-opening talk, historian Rick Bell reconstructs the Reverse Underground Railroad in all its horror. Hell lay out its origins and motives, its scale and its spread. Hell recover the lives of both the captors and captives. Hell describe the routes the kidnappers took and the techniques they used to lure away free African Americans, and explain the dramatic impact these abductions had upon the growing antislavery fight. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)
Bier Baron Tavern and Comedy Loft (View)
1523 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|