The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) will present Black History in Upstate New York programs, created by Colgate University graduate Victoria Basulto, beginning August 16th.
The daily programs will provide a combination of bite-sized informational videos and longer presentations by scholars on historical figures and places that emphasize the crucial role Black Americans have played in the history of Upstate New York. The events will be available on the Hall of Fame’s YouTube channel.
The programs highlight lesser-known individuals, events, and places in Upstate New York central to movements like abolitionism, civil rights, and women’s suffrage.
Upcoming programs include:
Welcome to Black History in Upstate New York! (est. 5 minutes) on Monday, August 16th. Victoria Basulto, Colgate University graduate and Summer 2021 Projects for Peace Fellow, will introduce the series and speak briefly on the history of Black Americans in Upstate New York. She will introduce movements like abolitionism, women’s suffrage, and civil rights, all of which will be central themes in the program. Basulto will also speak to how Black New Yorkers in Upstate shaped and championed these causes.
Introducing Harriet Tubman and Auburn, New York (est. 5 minutes) on Tuesday, August 17th. In this introductory video, Basulto will overview Harriet Tubman’s life and the spaces she traversed before arriving in the finger lakes region of Upstate New York, where she would make her home for about 50 years of life.
Harriet Tubman’s Promised Land in Auburn, New York (est. 20 – 30 minutes) on Wednesday, August 18th. Kate Clifford Larson, Ph.D., is a bestselling author and an award-winning historian who has written various biographies on historical figures like Rosemary Kennedy, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Harriet Tubman. In this presentation, Dr. Larson will speak about Harriet Tubman and her time in Auburn, NY. Additionally, Dr. Larson will describe Tubman’s connection to the abolitionist Gerrit Smith and his family in Peterboro, NY.
Introducing John W. Jones and Elmira, New York (est. 5 minutes) on Thursday, August 19th. Basulto will provide an introduction to the life of John W. Jones, a self-emancipated man who helped hundreds of runaways fleeing slavery escape to freedom. Additionally, Jones’ story is remarkable given his role in the respectful burial of nearly 3,000 confederate soldiers. Basulto will also contextualize his story by emphasizing the role of Elmira, NY, in his life story.
Discovering John W. Jones (est. 20 – 30 minutes) on Friday, August 20th. President of the John W. Jones Museum Board of Trustees, Talima Aaron, will discuss her journey to discover John W. Jones’ voice in the historical records. By looking at some historical documents in which Jones’s voice and personality are present, she will provide further insight into Jones’ life. Additionally, Aaron will discuss the work of the John W. Jones Museum in preserving his legacy and give a brief tour of the museum.
Introducing David Ruggles (est. 5 minutes) on Saturday, August 21st. In this video presentation, Basulto will introduce the abolitionist, African American rights activist, business owner, writer, publisher, and underground railroad conductor David Ruggles. She will provide information about his upbringing, his time in New York City, and how he connected with a network of abolitionists in Upstate New York.
David Ruggles and the Underground Railroad (est. 20 – 30 minutes) on Sunday, August 22nd. Graham Hodges, Ph.D., is the George Dorland Langdon Jr. Professor of History and Africana & Latin American Studies at Colgate University. His research specialties include Colonial and American revolutionary history, social history, labor and urban America, New York City history, and Asian American history. He has published several books such as Black New Jersey: 1664 to the Present Day, Friends of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Thaddeus Kosciusko, and Agrippa Hull. A tale of three patriots, two revolutions, and the tragic betrayal that divided a nation, and David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City, among many others. As a biographer of David Ruggles himself, Dr. Hodges will speak about Ruggles’ abolitionist work and connection to Upstate New York.
The programs will be available to view online, on the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum website and YouTube channel.