Underground Railroad stops mark abolitionist milestones

For thousands of African-Americans fleeing the bonds of slavery in antebellum America, the escape routes of the Underground Railroad that crisscrossed New England were lifelines to liberty. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, a countless number of clandestine “stations’’ were part of the informal network of safe havens for runaway slaves.  read full story

Historical Society Participates in Creative Economy Roundtable

At a recent creative economy roundtable participants made powerful arguments for why arts organizations generate long-term economic renewal in ways that can’t be captured by traditional short-term fiscal impact assessments.

The evidence they gave provides an example of why we need multidimensional approaches when evaluating economic development spending. read full story

First Annual Sustainability Workshop for African American Historic Sites

On January 21, 2010, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast Office, in partnership with the John Nicholas Brown Center at Brown University and The 1772 Foundation, convened representatives from 24 African American sites, from Maine to Delaware, in Providence, Rhode Island for a two-day sustainability workshop.  A diversity of places were represented, and the stories embodied in those places are truly, truly inspiring. These places included a former Negro league baseball stadium, Underground Railroad and abolitionist sites, extant cultural landscapes and historic resources from free Black communities, heritage trials, a slave quarter, the first African American meeting houses in the country, and sites representing jazz and vocal legends. Together these places represent the Northeast’s rich African American heritage and help to better our understanding of the Black experience in America. Click Here

City students discover slavery still exists

City middle school students are taking a page from the city’s abolitionist history to combat modern-day slavery.

Wednesday marks the 60th anniversary of the United Nation’s International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. To call attention to modern-day human trafficking and child labor, Roosevelt and Normandin middle schools are holding assemblies Wednesday morning as part of the Abolition Day Project.

Leading up to this day, students at the two middle schools have been learning how to make an argument for change, just as abolitionists did in New Bedford in the years leading up to the Civil War. read full story

Teaching a lesson on slavery

Slavery, often thought to be an ugly fact of the past, was at the forefront Wedneday at Roosevelt and Normandin middle schools.

Students and staff observed United Nations International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, declared 60 years ago to bring awareness to plight of the approximately 27 million people in the world languishing under modern day slavery.

“Slaves range from very young to adults,” read student Brooke Vinagre during Roosevelt’s Abolition Day assembly. “They get sold, auctioned off and are taken away from their families. Shockingly, slavery still exits in many parts of the world including Thailand, Pakistan, India, Albania and even the United States … A slave in America during the Civil War could cost upwards of $600. Today, a child slave can be purchased for as little as $30.” read full story

Tour of Underground Railroad landmarks reveals city’s abolitionist history

Bristol Community College history students and others marking African-American History Month toured New Bedford’s Underground Railroad landmarks last week, visiting locations in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and elsewhere downtown. read full story

New Bedford celebrates Douglass in annual readathon

A read-athon drew participants as diverse as New Bedford itself Sunday as the city honored its role in the inspirational life of a famous American slave. read full story

Before Carney and Douglass, there was Cuffe

CuffeeICONBefore Sgt. William Carney led his Civil War regiment to victory, Frederick Douglass scolded the American conscience into facing up to slavery. read full story

SouthCoast marks moment with its own inaugural balls

Washington, D.C., was not alone in its inaugural celebrations Tuesday night. SouthCoast had a strong showing as well, with hundreds of people attending local balls to commemorate the inauguration of Barack Obama. read full story

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Remembering the Black Yankee

hoaglandOver 100 area residents turned out to last week’s poetry reading by former New Bedford Poet Laureate Everett Hoagland at the Ocean Explorium, entitled: “Black Hands, White Sails: A Meditation on Blacks in the Maritime Trades”, in which Westport’s renowned Captain Paul Cuffe (1759-1817) had a starring role.  read full story