This network of secret routes and safe houses used by escaping enslaved African Americans is the subject of The Passage on the Underground Railroad.
What was the Underground Railroad short answer?
The Underground Railroad— the resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, through the end of the Civil War—refers to the efforts of enslaved African Americans to gain their freedom by escaping bondage. Wherever slavery existed, there were efforts to escape.
What was the Underground Railroad and why was it created?
The Underground Railroad was established to aid enslaved people in their escape to freedom. The railroad was comprised of dozens of secret routes and safe houses originating in the slaveholding states and extending all the way to the Canadian border, the only area where fugitives could be assured of their freedom.
What was the underground railroad meant for?
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early- to mid-19th century. It was used by enslaved African Americans primarily to escape into free states and Canada.
What was the Underground Railroad in the Civil War?
Underground Railroad, in the United States, a system existing in the Northern states before the Civil War by which escaped slaves from the South were secretly helped by sympathetic Northerners, in defiance of the Fugitive Slave Acts, to reach places of safety in the North or in Canada.
Does the Underground Railroad still exist?
It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.
How did the Quakers help the Underground Railroad?
The Quaker campaign to end slavery can be traced back to the late 1600s, and many played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad. In 1776, Quakers were prohibited from owning slaves, and 14 years later they petitioned the U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery.
Who founded the Underground Railroad?
In the early 1800s, Quaker abolitionist Isaac T. Hopper set up a network in Philadelphia that helped enslaved people on the run.
Were there tunnels in the Underground Railroad?
Contrary to popular belief, the Underground Railroad was not a series of underground tunnels. While some people did have secret rooms in their houses or carriages, the vast majority of the Underground Railroad involved people secretly helping people running away from slavery however they could.
How far did the Underground Railroad go?
Because it was dangerous to be in free states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, or even Massachusetts after 1850, most people hoping to escape traveled all the way to Canada. So, you could say that the Underground Railroad went from the American south to Canada.
How long did the Underground Railroad take to travel?
The journey would take him 800 miles and six weeks, on a route winding through Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, tracing the byways that fugitive slaves took to Canada and freedom.
How many slaves did Harriet Tubman save?
Fact: According to Tubman’s own words, and extensive documentation on her rescue missions, we know that she rescued about 70 people —family and friends—during approximately 13 trips to Maryland.
Did the Underground Railroad start the Civil War?
The Underground Railroad physically resisted the repressive laws that held slaves in bondage. By provoking fear and anger in the South, and prompting the enactment of harsh legislation that eroded the rights of white Americans, the Underground Railroad was a direct contributing cause of the Civil War.
How many slaves were on the Underground Railroad?
The total number of runaways who used the Underground Railroad to escape to freedom is not known, but some estimates exceed 100,000 freed slaves during the antebellum period. Those involved in the Underground Railroad used code words to maintain anonymity.
Where did slaves hide in the Underground Railroad?
The free individuals who helped runaway slaves travel toward freedom were called conductors, and the fugitive slaves were referred to as cargo. The safe houses used as hiding places along the lines of the Underground Railroad were called stations. A lit lantern hung outside would identify these stations.
Passage on the Underground Railroad: Marc, Stephen, Griffler, Keith, Miller, Diane, Williams, Carla: 9781604731293: Amazon.com: Books
Smuggled fugitives through the Underground Railroad during the winter seasonThe Underground Railroad was constructed to assist enslaved persons in their escape to freedom from slavery. As a result, the railroad network consisted of hundreds of hidden routes and safe homes that began in slaveholding states and extended all the way to the Canadian border, which was the only place where fugitives could be certain of their freedom. From Florida to Cuba, or from Texas to Mexico, there were shorter routes that sent travelers south.
The Underground Railroad’s success was dependent on the collaboration of past runaway slaves, free-born blacks, Native Americans, and white and black abolitionists who assisted in guiding fugitive slaves along the routes and providing safe havens in their own houses.
In the nineteenth century, there was an underground railroad.
From the jargon that was employed along the lines, the Underground Railroad received its moniker.
- Agents, stations, stationmasters, passengers or freight, and even investors were all included in this category.
- As a series of interconnected networks, the Underground Railroad functioned efficiently.
- It was a gradual process on the part of those who led the fugitive slaves northward.
- It would be transferred on to the next conductor after the “freight” had reached another stop until the full trip had been completed.
- A great deal of hostility was built among slaveholders and their sympathizers as a result of the success of the Underground Railroad.
- The Act allowed slave owners or their agents to request assistance from federal, state, and local law enforcement officials in non-slaveholding states in the capture of fugitive slaves.
- African Americans who were not born into slavery were abducted by slave catchers.
- It is sufficient for the slave-catcher to make an oath that the black guy is, in fact, a runaway slave, after which they may return the slave to its alleged owner in exchange for a reward.
- Thousands of enslaved women and men were released and tens of thousands more were given hope as a result of the underground railroad.
- The Underground Railroad attracted many more people, who became members and supporters.
Willie Still’s book, The Underground Railroad, is a good place to start looking (Chicago, Johnson Publishing Company, 1970) Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books in association with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 2004); J.
Blight, Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books in association with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center), BlackPast.org has granted permission to republish their material.
Example of APA Citation for this Article: Charles Waggoner, C. Waggoner & Associates, Inc. (n.d.). From 1820 to 1861, the Underground Railroad transported people from one place to another. An historical study of social welfare. Obtainable via the website
Untitled from the Passage on the Underground Railroad Series
|Description||A professor of photography at Arizona State University’s Herberger College of Fine Arts, Stephen Marc constructs narrative montages that juxtapose personal memorabilia, antebellum plantation structures, documents, and artifacts with contemporary cultural references to explore the African Diaspora. Since the early 1990s Marc has investigated the trans-Atlantic slave trade and African American life in the Midwestern communities where he was raised.In 2002 Marc began working on his Passage on the Underground Railroad Series that grew out of a community-based project initiated by Mississippi State University. Ten montages comprise the series many of which incorporate some of the thousands of photographs he has taken since 2000 of Underground Railroad sites across the United States and Canada.Individually, the works in the series are not titled, but Marc refers to this image as the “Double Tap Brand.” In the foreground a young man shown from the neck down, a tattoo emblazoned on his arm, walks along a wrought-iron fence with cotton fields, railroad tracks and columned houses in the background. As a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity at Mississippi State, which encourages its members to sport tattoos of the Greek symbol for Sigma, they are given the nickname “The Master Branders.” A double Sigma tattoo is commonly referred to as a “double tap brand.” The ambiguity of the work is further enhanced through close examination of the writing in the sky. Reproduced from a historical document in which a slave owner voices his opinion against the abolition of slavery, Marc repeats the phrase to blend in with the clouds.|
Layers of History—Passage on the Underground Railroad
Smuggled fugitives through the Underground Railroad during the winter seasonThe Underground Railroad was constructed to assist enslaved persons in their escape to freedom. The railroad was made up of dozens of hidden routes and safe houses that began in slaveholding states and extended all the way to the Canadian border, which was the only place where fugitives could be certain of their freedom. From Florida to Cuba, or from Texas to Mexico, there were shorter routes that sent travelers southward.
- Running away slaves, free-born blacks, Native Americans, and both white and black abolitionists worked together to ensure the success of the Underground Railroad.
- Though the number of persons who fled through the Underground Railroad between 1820 and 1861 has been estimated in a variety of ways, the figure most frequently stated is roughly 100,000.
- The Underground Railroad got its name from the jargon that was used along the lines.
- Agents, stations, stationmasters, passengers or freight, and even stockholders were all involved in the group.
- The term “cargo” referred to escaped slaves, while stockholders were those who provided money to keep the Underground Railroad functioning.
- While the journey north was a long and difficult one, the Underground Railroad supplied depots and safe homes at strategic locations along the way.
- No conductor was familiar with the full route; he or she was only responsible for the brief distances between stations.
- Both the escaped slaves and the integrity of the routes, which often stretched over 1,000 miles, were preserved by this restricted information.
Because previous efforts to disrupt the slave escape system had failed, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which allowed slave owners or their agents to request assistance from federal, state, and local law enforcement officials in non-slaveholding states in order to apprehend fugitive slaves and return them to their owners.
- Slave-catchers began abducting free-born African Americans in the late 1800s.
- It is sufficient for the slave-catcher to make an oath that the black guy is, in fact, a runaway slave, after which they can return the slave to its alleged owner in exchange for a payment.
- Thousands of enslaved women and men were released and tens of thousands more were given hope as a result of the Underground Railroad’s efforts.
- Others joined and supported the Underground Railroad as members or supporters.
- Sources: William Still’s The Underground Railroad (William Still, The Underground Railroad) (Chicago, Johnson Publishing Company, 1970) David W.
- Blaine Hudson’s Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 2006); David W.
In APA format, the following is how to cite this article: Waggoner, C., and Waggoner, J. (n.d.). The Underground Railroad operated from 1820 to 1861). This project is about the history of social welfare. Obtainable from
Private Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman Coming to The Gibbes Museum of Art
CHARLESTON, S.C., August 4, 2020 – The University of South Carolina is launching a new initiative to educate students about the importance of reading. The Gibbes Museum of Art is thrilled to announce the opening of their newest special exhibition, Building a Legacy: The Vibrant Vision Collection of Jonathan Green and his family. The show will be on view from April 1 through June 30, 2018. READ ON FOR MORE INFORMATION
The Gibbes Museum of Art to Reopen Following COVID-19 Related Closure
CHARLESTON, S.C., May 25, 2020 – The University of South Carolina is launching a new initiative to help students succeed in school. The Gibbes Museum of Art will reopen its doors to the public on June 1 following a temporary closure on March 18 due to the. READ ON FOR MORE INFORMATION
What Might Have Been and What Hopes to Be
There were plans for the Gibbes Museum to hold a celebration today. This past weekend, the much-anticipated show Fred Wilson: Afro Kismet, coordinated by Wilson and the Pace Gallery in New York, was slated to open its doors. READ ON FOR MORE INFORMATION
In Memoriam: David Driskell (1931–2020) Pioneering Artist, Scholar, and Curator
David C. Driskell, a trailblazing artist and researcher, passed away last week, and the Gibbes and the rest of the art world are grieving his passing. Eatonton, Georgia, is where I was born and reared. READ ON FOR MORE INFORMATION
Passage on the Underground Railroad by Stephen Marc
Keith Griffler, Diane Miller, and Carla Williams have all contributed to this work. Stephen Marc spent seven years photographing the paths used by escaped slaves on their journeys to freedom, recording and analyzing his findings as he went along. The results of these experiments are shown in Passage on the Underground Railroad, a body of work that includes thought-provoking, unique, and unsettling digital photographs by Marc. When it comes to revealing the history of the Underground Railroad (UGRR), Marc utilizes two sorts of photographic composites: various pictures that explain UGRR places and symbolic montages that address the wider misery of slavery.
It is through the associated montages that the ‘peculiar institution’ of the South is evocatively represented, from which slaves were fleeing.
The book also includes an interview with Stephen Marc conducted by Carla Williams, an essay by Keith Griffler, and a piece by Diane Miller, all of which discuss the historical significance of the Underground Railroad and the role of the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom sites, many of which are depicted in the photographs.
MARC Record: The underground railroad :
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|520|||a”Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom”-Publisher’s description.|
|586|||aNational Book Award, 2016|
|586|||aAndrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence for Fiction Winner, 2017|
|586|||aPulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2017|
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Myths About the Underground Railroad
When it comes to teaching African-American Studies today, one of the great delights is the satisfaction that comes from being able to restore to the historical record “lost” events and the persons whose sacrifices and bravery enabled those events to take place, never to be lost again. Among our ancestors’ long and dreadful history of human bondage is the Underground Railroad, which has garnered more recent attention from teachers, students, museum curators, and the tourism industry than any other institution from the black past.
- Nevertheless, in the effort to convey the narrative of this magnificent institution, fiction and lore have occasionally taken precedence over historical truth.
- The sacrifices and valor of our forefathers and foremothers, as well as their allies, are made all the more noble, heroic, and striking as a result.
- I think this is a common misconception among students.
- As described by Wilbur H.
Running slaves, frequently in groups of up to several families, were said to have been directed at night on their desperate journey to freedom by the traditional “Drinking Gourd,” which was the slaves’ secret name for the North Star.
The Railroad in Lore
When it comes to teaching African-American Studies today, one of the great delights is the satisfaction that comes from being able to restore to the historical record “lost” events and the persons whose sacrifices and bravery resulted in those events, which will never be lost again. In recent years, few institutions from our ancestors’ long and dreadful history in human bondage have garnered more attention than the Underground Railroad. It is one of our forefathers’ most venerable and philanthropic innovations, and it is also one of the most well-known and well-received by teachers, students, museum curators, and the tourism industry.
In order to communicate the truth about the past as it truly happened, scholars have put in a great lot of work to distinguish between fact and fiction, which has always been an important component of telling it straight.
When I hear our students talk about the Underground Railroad, I get the impression that they are under the impression that it was something akin to a black, Southern Grand Central Station, with regularly scheduled routes that hundreds of thousands of slave “passengers” used to escape from Southern plantations, aided by that irrepressible, stealthy double agent, Harriet Tubman.
Many people also believe that thousands of benign, incognito white “conductors” routinely hid slaves in secret rooms hidden in attics or basements, or behind the staircases of numerous “safe houses,” the locations of which were coded in “freedom quilts” sewn by slaves and hung in their windows as guideposts for fugitives on the run.
Siebert in his massive pioneering (and often wildly romantic) study, The Underground Railroad(1898), the “railroad” itself was composed of “a chain of stations leading from the Southern states to Canada,” or “a series of hundreds of interlocking ‘lines,’ ” that ran from Alabama or Mississippi, throughout the South, all the way across the Ohio River and Mason-Dixon Line, as the historian David Blight summarizes in Passages: The Underground Railroad, 1838-19 Escaped slaves, many of whom were entire families, were said to be guided at night on their desperate journey to freedom by the traditional “Drinking Gourd,” which was the slaves’ code name for the Northern Star.
A Meme Is Born
As Blight correctly points out, the railroad has proven to be one of the most “enduring and popular strands in the fabric of America’s national historical memory.” Since the end of the nineteenth century, many Americans, particularly in New England and the Midwest, have either made up legends about the deeds of their ancestors or simply repeated stories that they have heard about their forebears.
It’s worth taking a look at the history of the phrase “Underground Railroad” before diving into those tales, though.
Tice Davids was a Kentucky slave who managed to escape to Ohio in 1831, and it is possible that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was invented as a result of his successful escape.
According to Blight, he is believed to have said that Davids had vanished as though “the nigger must have gone off on an underground railroad.” This is a fantastic narrative — one that would be worthy of Richard Pryor — but it is improbable, given that train lines were non-existent at the time.
The fleeing slave from Washington, D.C., who was tortured and forced to testify that he had been taken north, where “the railroad extended underground all the way to Boston,” according to one report from 1839, was captured.
constructed from Mason and Dixon’s to the Canada line, upon which fugitives from slavery might come pouring into this province” is the first time the term appears.
14, 1842, in the Liberator, a date that may be supported by others who claim that abolitionist Charles T. Torrey invented the phrase in 1842, according to abolitionist Charles T. Torrey. As David Blight points out, the phrase did not become widely used until the mid-1840s, when it was first heard.
Myth Battles Counter-Myth
It has proven to be one of America’s greatest “enduring and popular threads in the fabric of the nation’s national historical memory,” as Blight puts it so eloquently. Numerous Americans, particularly those in New England and the Midwest, have either made up stories about their ancestors’ adventures or simply repeated stories they have heard about them since the end of the nineteenth century. It’s worth taking a look at the history of the phrase “Underground Railroad” before diving into those tales, though.
Because of his successful escape from Kentucky to Ohio in 1831, it is possible that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was developed as a result of his experience.
According to Blight, he is believed to have said that Davids had vanished, as though “the nigger must have gotten away on the subterranean railroad.” It’s a fantastic tale, and one that would be worthy of Richard Pryor, however the likelihood of this happening is remote given the lack of train infrastructure at the time.
- The fleeing slave from Washington, D.C., who was tortured and forced to testify that he had been taken north, where “the railroad extended underground all the way to Boston,” according to one report from 1839.
- 11, 1839, in an editorial by Hiram Wilson of Toronto, who called for the construction of “a great republican railroad.
- 14, 1842, in the Liberator, a date that may be supported by others who claim that abolitionist Charles T.
- As David Blight points out, the term did not become widely used until the mid-1840s, when it was first recorded.
Truth Reveals Unheralded Heroism
The railroad has proven to be one of the most “enduring and popular threads in the fabric of America’s national historical memory,” as Blight puts it so eloquently. The end of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of a large number of Americans, particularly in New England and the Midwest, who either invented legends about their ancestors’ accomplishments or simply repeated stories they had heard. It’s worth taking a look at the history of the phrase “Underground Railroad” before we get into those tales.
- Tice Davids was a Kentucky slave who managed to escape to Ohio in 1831, and it is possible that the phrase “Underground Railroad” was invented as a result of his escape.
- According to Blight, he is alleged to have said that Davids had vanished, as though “the nigger must have gone off on an underground railroad.” This is a fantastic story — one that would be worthy of Richard Pryor — but it seems improbable given the lack of train infrastructure at the time.
- The fleeing slave from Washington, D.C., was tortured and confessed that he had been transferred north, where “the railroad went underground all the way to Boston,” according to one tale from 1839.
- 11, 1839, in an editorial by Hiram Wilson of Toronto, who called for the construction of “a great republican railroad.
14, 1842, in the Liberator, a date that may be supported by some who claim that abolitionist Charles T. Torrey invented the concept in 1842, according to certain sources. In any case, according to David Blight, the phrase did not become widely used until the mid-1840s.
‘Their stories need to be told’: the true story behind The Underground Railroad
Don’t be deceived by the railway carriage’s appearance. A railroad museum may be situated within one, however the content of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum has nothing to do with railroads. Its original origins may be traced across the street to the Pamlico River, which was formerly utilized as a route of escape by enslaved African Americans seeking freedom in the 19th century. The museum’s cofounder and executive director, Leesa Jones, explains that after reading a slew of documents and old slave ads from Washington newspapers that would say things like, “My slave has escaped, they’re going to try to get to Washington in order to board a ship to get to their freedom,” they realized that they wanted to tell an accurate story about how freedom seekers left from the Washington waterfront.
- Jones points out that the first misconception many have about the underground railroad is that it was a system of subterranean trains, tunnels, and platforms that branched out like the London Underground or the New York subway.
- There actually existed a network of hidden routes and safe homes that thousands of enslaved persons used to travel from the southern United States to the free states and Canada during the early and mid-19th centuries.
- The Underground Railroad, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead published in 2016, examined the divide between the real and the metaphorical by reimagining genuine trains booming beneath the soil.
- However, in addition to depicting cotton fields, plantations, and forests, it is as effective in depicting subterranean steam trains that provide a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.
- I don’t want a blue screen of death.
- It had everything to do with the time, the place, and the fact that they were chatting in code.
- For example, a depot may have been anything other than a railroad station; it could have been a graveyard, a river, a barn, or a location in the woods.
As a result, individuals were free to talk about it, and those who overheard the conversation may have assumed they were talking about a railroad line or a train station, which they were not talking about.
Tracks and trains aren’t the only thing that people have misconceptions about.
Political influence and legal help were provided by African-Americans with access to education and resources, such as Robert Purvis and William Whipper, both of whom were from Philadelphia.
Photograph courtesy of MPI/Getty Images “In many of the narratives that you read, the abolitionists appear to be the heroes, and, without taking anything away from their noble deeds, what the freedom seekers accomplished is underestimated,” Jones adds.
Their situation was not that of helpless slaves on a plantation, waiting for the white abolitionists to arrive and take them away.
Thinking about the freedom seekers and the stories they recounted after achieving freedom, it becomes clear who the true hero of the story was very fast.
A tear fell from Jones’s eye during the film Harriet, which was released in 2019 and starred Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, one of the most well-known conductors of the subterranean railroad.
While she is not a fan of Whitehead’s use of artistic license, she is looking forward to watching the Amazon version and participating in the discussion that it will elicit.
According to the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, the most organized networks were in Pennsylvania and New York, with many of them centered on local churches.
Free Black people who liberated enslaved individuals from plantations in Maryland and Virginia ran an underground railroad station near the US Capitol in Washington, which was managed by free Black people.
‘One has to pay particular attention to the Black communities in the northern hemisphere, since they are the foot troops of this movement,’ he explains.
Image courtesy of Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios It was they who ensured that people were securely hidden, who resisted attempts to apprehend fugitives, who showed up at court hearings, who spent cold nights standing outside these hearings to ensure that people were not sent away before the hearing was completed.” Understanding the underground railroad requires an understanding of the people who worked on the network.
We must also remember those whites, particularly lawyers, who took the lead in defending these escaped slaves in the courtrooms of the northern states.
The extent of the brutality and persecution, as well as the deliberate efforts to return freedom seekers to servitude, are still not completely appreciated by the international community.
It was a risky move on their part.
These individuals are fleeing their homes, their families, and the locations that they are familiar with in an attempt to gain their freedom. It dawned on me that one must grasp their notion of freedom via their actions in order for freedom to become both a goal and an action.”
- Beware of the railway carriage’s deceptive appearance. A railroad museum may be situated within one, however the content of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum has nothing to do with trains. True origins may be traced across the street to the Pamlico River, which was formerly utilized as an escape route by enslaved African Americans attempting to emancipate themselves. Leesa Jones, cofounder and executive director of the museum in Washington, North Carolina, explains that after reading a slew of documents and old slave ads from Washington newspapers that said things like, “My slave has escaped, they’re going to try to get to Washington to board a ship to get to their freedom,” they realized that they wanted to tell an accurate story of how freedom seekers left from the Washington waterfront. Among the many misconceptions regarding the underground railroad, according to Jones, is the belief that it had a succession of subterranean trains, tunnels, and platforms that branched out, similar to the London Underground or the New York subway system. There actually existed a network of hidden passageways and safe homes that thousands of enslaved persons used to travel from the southern United States to free states and Canada during the early and mid-19th centuries. According to Jones, “When people hear the word railroad, their minds immediately go to a train.” As one historian put it, “the underground railroad was simply a metaphor for a movement of people who were able to organize a network of abolitionists and freedom searchers.” The Underground Railroad, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead published in 2016, examined the gulf between the real and the metaphorical by reimagining genuine trains roaring beneath the surface of the land. A big-budget-small-screen version, which is currently accessible on Amazon Prime, presents a combination of gorgeous photography and primal agony (there was a therapist on set), evoking Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave and other classic films of the kind. However, in addition to depicting cotton fields, plantations, and forests, it is also effective in depicting subterranean steam trains that provide a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. During a virtual press conference for the 10-part series, director Barry Jenkins, whose credits include the Oscar-winning picture Moonlight, recalled: “I told Mark Friedberg, our production designer, ‘This can’t be false.’ ” Actual railroad lines, actual trains, and actual tunnels are what I’m after. A blue screen is something I do not desire. The use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) is not acceptable. As a result, we established a private train network, above which we constructed our tunnels. Why was the train metaphor chosen, and how did it come about? Time, place, and conversing in code were all factors in this situation. “Right around the time that the underground railroad began, trains began to crisscross the country, specifically the Baltimore-Ohio line, and abolitionists and freedom seekers discovered that they could freely talk about movement simply by referring to things in terms of railroad vocabulary,” Jones explained. If a depot was not a railroad station, it may have been anything from a graveyard to an island in the middle of the river to a barn in the woods. Someone who would transport freedom seekers from one location to another would have been considered a conductor. As a result, individuals were free to discuss it, and anyone who overheard the conversation may have assumed they were talking about a railroad line or a train station, which they were not. In order to help individuals achieve what they needed to do, I used cryptic language to help them.” It is not only about tracks and trains that people are misinformed. Furthermore, historical accounts of the Underground Railroad have tended to place a focus on “white saviours,” such as Quakers, while downplaying the role of African Americans who supplied refuge as well as clothes, food, and money. Political influence and legal help were provided by African-Americans with access to education and resources, such as Robert Purvis and William Whipper of Philadelphia. Harriet Tubman and other abolitionists are seen on the far left. Image courtesy of MPI/Getty Images. “In many of the narratives that you read, the abolitionists appear to be the heroes, and, without taking anything away from their noble deeds, what the freedom seekers accomplished is underestimated,” Jones explains. ” Understand the risks that freedom seekers were forced to face, how they escaped, why they escaped, and any hazards or difficulties they encountered on their journey to freedom. Their situation was not that of helpless slaves on a farm, waiting for the arrival of the white abolitionists. They were the catalyst for the formation of their own political movement. The abolitionists did require assistance, but they were white, Black, and Native American
- They were not all of one race or national origin. Thinking about the freedom seekers and the stories they recounted after achieving freedom, it becomes clear who the true hero of the story was very fast. They must be given the opportunity to share their experiences.” In the 2019 film Harriet, starring Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, one of the most well-known conductors of the subterranean railroad, Jones sobbed throughout the whole movie. This realism in portraying the heroism of freedom seekers and abolitionists laboring at tremendous personal danger is something she admires about the movie. While she is not a fan of Whitehead’s use of artistic license, she is looking forward to seeing the Amazon adaptation and participating in the discussion that it will inevitably spawn. Although I am not a fan of Colson Whitehead’s book in terms of its romanticized idea of freedom and its inaccurate use of train escapes, I am hoping that it will cause people to take a closer look at why the underground railroad was necessary, help them understand that injustice has always existed, and help turn the tide in their attitudes toward people who are still oppressed. According to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the most organized networks were in Pennsylvania and New York, with many of them centered on local churches. There were roughly 9,000 escaped slaves who travelled through Philadelphia from 1830 to 1860, according to one estimate. There was an underground train station in Washington, DC, near the US Capitol that was managed by free Black people who were rescuing enslaved persons from plantations in Maryland and Virginia. Professor Richard Blackett, a historian of the abolitionist movement at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, feels that white abolitionists have been accorded an unfair amount of attention in the historical record. ‘One has to pay particular attention to the Black communities in the northern hemisphere, since they are the foot soldiers of this movement,’ he argues. The Underground Railroad’s Mbedu, for example, Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios provided the photograph. It was they who ensured that people were securely hidden, who resisted attempts to apprehend fugitives, who showed up at court hearings, who spent cold nights standing outside these hearings to ensure that people were not sent away before the hearing was completed.” Understanding the underground railroad requires an understanding of the people who worked on its construction. The whites, notably attorneys, who took the lead in defending these fugitive slaves throughout their trials in the northern courts must also be recognized. This is an important component of the subterranean railroad, one that we haven’t really looked at in depth yet,” says the author. He contends that the underground railroad is still too often perceived through “rose-tinted glasses” as a cohesive movement that contributed to the transformation of the United States of America. Even now, it is difficult to comprehend the extent of the violence and tyranny, as well as the deliberate efforts to return freedom seekers to servitude. As he adds, “you cannot comprehend the subterranean railroad until you begin at the place of departure.” “What is it about the local community in Maryland or Virginia that motivates a person to leave and travel to a place about which they have little or no prior knowledge?” A risky action, to say the least. A stab in the dark, to put it bluntly. Those seeking their independence are uprooting themselves from their families and the familiar environments that they have come to know and trust. It occurred to me that one must grasp their notion of freedom via their actions in order for freedom to become both a goal and an action.”
Contender Profile: The Underground Railroad Production Designer Mark Friedberg
On the set of the film, Barry Jenkins The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a system of transportation that allows people to flee their homes. The Underground Railroad, adapted from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, has received widespread critical praise for its portrayal of slavery in the Deep South. The 10 episodes of the show, which was created and directed by Barry Jenkins, are currently available for viewing on Amazon Prime Video. The series, like Whitehead’s novel, mixes myth and imagination on top of real events to create a compelling narrative.
- She is being sought by the ruthless Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton) and his juvenile accomplice Homer, who believes she is an escaped slave (Chase Dillon).
- He has collaborated with directors such as Ang Lee, Todd Haynes, Jim Jarmusch, Wes Anderson, Ava DuVernay, and most recently Darren Aronofsky, and has won an Emmy for his work on Mildred Pierce in 2011.
- Using Zoom, Mr.
- Mark Friedberg is an American businessman and philanthropist who lives in New York City.
- Mark Friedberg: It was when we were working on If Beale Street Could Talk that Barry and I began talking about it, albeit in a more abstract manner.
- I continued on to Joker, and as I was doing so, we had some serious discussions.
- It’s one of the projects I’m most proud of in my whole professional life.
According to Friedberg, “I’m not constructing harshness; rather, I’m designing a reality that occurred at various points in history.” I believe one response to your question is that we weren’t simply concerned with cruelty and violence at the time.
In our attention, we were drawn to the fortitude and the courage, as well as the drive, of those who not only survived slavery and everything that came with it, but also flourished — or, at the very least, took our country to a point where it could thrive.
I wasn’t attempting to recreate Auschwitz when I constructed the slave cells at the beginning of the series.
To demonstrate this, we created a separate area for the slave quarter.
Instead, we used a different location.
BTL: Was it during negotiations with Mr.
Friedberg: The quarters serve as the starting point of the tale, and it is via them that we enter the community.
When the slave owners, the Randall brothers, walked into that environment, they were seen as intrusive, as the ones who broke whatever sense of community there had previously been in the area.
This was a project that we had been working on for a long time, and we were able to communicate quite freely with one another throughout the process.
So it was actually me who took his narrative point of view, his character point of view, and applied it to my own work in the end.
We were particularly interested in the role that the culture that we share makes to the plight of those who are treated in the most inhumane ways.
When it comes to the slave quarters, how extensively did you go about it?
However, we wanted you to be able to feel the cotton in our stories as well.
That’s what everyone thought at first, but we gave it a shot and it was successful.
We had cane presses, smithies, cookhouses, and smokehouses, among other things.
It had the appearance of being like that.
Having such a strong emotional tie to slave quarters and the buildings that represented them seemed weird to me at the time.
Was it fully functioning?
Despite the fact that we had a few extras doing genuine smithy work, the massive forge was rigged.
The series has a strong thread of blacksmithing running through it, which was essential to Barry.
A plantation blacksmith was also a skilled and prestigious occupation, and it was possible to advance in this field.
Friedberg: The title is a play on words.
The Fugitive Slave Act was passed in the year the narrative takes place, making it a federal violation to harbor a slave and a federal criminal not to help in the recapture of a slave in that year.
It made it possible for persons like Ridgeway to travel anywhere in the country, declare someone to be an escaped slave, and simply rescue them from their situation.
I believe the title might serve as a metaphor for the process of constructing the best portions of our society.
It serves as a means of incorporating historical themes into the novel and the series.
According to the substance of the article, the year may be 1949 or 1950, and the location might be Montgomery, Alabama.
Colson Whitehead included pieces from many centuries into the slavery period in his work, allowing us to see them through the lens of our own time as we read the novel.
The notion that we’ve moved past any of this, that we’ve arrived at a post-racial society, was the inspiration for this somewhat muddled account of history.
It’s a different perspective on the passage of time.
In this way, we are forced to look in the mirror and realize that some of the remnants of slavery are not such vestiges after all.
For this reason, the program shifts from the slave experience through eugenics to the Salem witch trials, which took place 200 years earlier.
A way of looking at a non-linear past that isn’t linear.
BTL: Friedberg: The initial expectation on this film was that they would be created via computer-generated imagery.
There’s also the issue of steam trains being unable to go underground since they require oxygen.
When I approached him about the project, he responded, “I don’t know what more to say about it, Mark, but real trains, real performers, all of the time.” So, real trains traveling on actual track.
Another thing that was quite evident was that we were not going to construct the trains ourselves.
It became evident that we needed to locate privately owned track with privately owned trains in order to construct a tunnel on top of it, which we did.
When we first started figuring up the prices, we realized that we would have to create one long piece, two tiny stations within the bigger ones, and then retrieve them all at the same time.
At the end of the day, Georgia’s reasoning was sound.
They were accepted as members of the crew.
Our train set ended up costing more than twice as much as Moonlight’s budget, in my opinion.
I was extremely pleased with myself because it was a particularly difficult episode.
He’s a fantastic partner to have on the job.
And Barry is one of the most extraordinary, dynamic, generous, and inspiring people I’ve ever met.
He comes close to you.
That is not something that every director does.
This was something I guided the second unit on.
I just had to direct a few performers, but it was still a demanding experience, don’t you think?
Not everyone responds to pressure with the same grace and kindness that others do.
Throughout this ordeal, Mr.
In addition to filmmaking, he has taught me a great deal about life in general.
And every one of them feels exactly the same as the first, and every one of them is exciting, and every one of them is completely unique to you and your personality.
I mean, there weren’t a whole lot of molecules in my bag when I went down there that I brought back. The Underground Railroad is now available to watch on Amazon Prime Video as a streaming service. Amazon Studios provided all of the images used in this post.
Mark the Spot: Underground Railroad in Medford
Historical markers may be found scattered around Tufts’ three campuses, frequently concealed within the roads that many of us take on a daily basis or within the buildings where we study and work. TUfts Now presents a new series called “Mark the Spot,” which delves into the tales behind these bits of university history. Every day, hundreds of visitors pass a big stone with a green copper plaque in front of Cousens Gym on their way to the Tisch Sports and Fitness Center from the Hill. The memorial is dedicated to the memory of Cousens, who died at the gym.
George Luther Stearns (1809–1867), a rich Medford businessman, was an enthusiastic abolitionist who contributed financially to a number of groups aimed at putting an end to slavery in the United States and elsewhere.
The New England Emigrant Aid Co., located in Boston, was founded before the Civil War to transport people to what was then known as the Kansas Territory.
Ultimately, the purpose was to skew the Kansas population in such a way that more people living there were opposed to slavery, allowing Kansas to become the first free state admitted to the Union in 1912.
While serving in the Union Army, Stearns recruited hundreds of freed slaves to fight with him, assisting them in establishing schools for their children and finding jobs for their families.
The funeral service for Stearns featured a eulogy delivered by Ralph Waldo Emerson.