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Recurring Event Event Series: Voices of Abolition

Voices of Abolition Part II

July 20, 2023 @ 11:00 am 12:00 pm


This is a live, virtual course hosted by Roundtable, which includes interactive opportunities and post-course recordings available for all course participants.

Summary: Although African Americans were a driving force in the abolition movement few outside Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman are widely known today. Discover the stories of individuals who played a pivotal role in bringing the issue of slavery to the forefront. With AWCM Director of Programs, Kelly Hancock.

Course Overview: Slavery was an issue from our country’s birth. Founding Fathers, such as John Adams, pointed out the contradiction of holding men in bondage in a society claiming “all me are created equal and endowed with the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But in spite of the divisiveness of the issue a full-scale abolitionist movement did not get underway until the 1830’s. When it did, however, African Americans were at the forefront. In 1830 the first Negro Convention was held, marking the beginning of black involvement in the abolition movement. However, the contributions of few African Americans, with the exception of Frederick Douglass, are widely known today. From debates over colonization to moral suasion and outright violence, African Americans were at the forefront of shaping and maintaining the movement. This course will shed light on just a few of the key individuals and their persistent efforts to bring about the end of slavery and equality under the law.

In this course, you will hear from Kelly Hancock, director of programs, for the American Civil War Museum. As a public historian focused on the American Civil War for almost 25 years, Kelly Hancock researches the lives of individuals and explores how their stories intersect with history. She uses historic writings, documents, objects, and photographs (some of which are in the American Civil War Museum’s own collection) to enhance presentations and aid people of today in seeing the past as the past saw itself.

Session 1 – “From the Fugitive Slave Law to Abolition”: This session will cover the beginnings of the abolition movement, exploring the lives of David Walker, David Ruggles and Sojourner Truth. We will take a look at excerpts of David Walker’s Appeal and Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech.

Session 2 – “The beginnings of the Abolition Movement”: This session will examine how events like Anthony Burn’s return under the Fugitive Slave Law and the Dred Scott case influenced popular opinion. Additionally, we will examine the contributions of notable abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.