“Traveling” the Underground Railroad in New Bedford

Teachers across the United States are already circling the month of July 2011 on their calendars.

That’s when they’ll have a chance to come to New Bedford to learn about the city’s important historical role in the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad.

The opportunity is being made possible through an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture program. “Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad” is a collaborative project between the University of Mass. Dartmouth, the New Bedford Historical Society, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the Rotch Jones Duff Museum and the National Whaling Historical Park. read full story

Boston Radicals Found a Home in New Bedford

It was called “the New Bedford Annex for Boston Radicals,” and at the dawn of the 20th century, the well-appointed house on Arnold Street was one lively place.

Owned by African American lawyer Edwin Bush Jourdain, the house in the West End section of New Bedford saw the likes of W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter debating strategies that challenged the accommodationist policies of Booker T. Washington.

To this day, Jourdain’s descendants confirm that at one time their ancestor’s house had been frequented by the black intelligentsia, who exchanged ideas, rehearsed speeches and executed plans for curing the ills facing black Americans. read full story

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