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In the Adirondack Library
The Black Woods: Pursuing Racial Justice on the Adirondack Frontier by Amy Godine
This is a virtual program.
In August 1846, the land-rich abolitionist Gerrit Smith unveiled his plan to parcel out 120,000 Adirondack acres to three thousand Black New Yorkers. His goal: to help his “grantees” gain the voting rights they had been denied since 1821 unless they could prove ownership of real property. From the distribution of his gift land to poor Black men from all over New York, to the on-the-ground experience of Black Adirondack pioneers in the second half of the 19th century and the afterlife of Smith’s “scheme of justice and benevolence” in Adirondack and Black memory, The Black Woods introduces a provocative and stirring chapter to New York’s rich history of racial justice.
About The Speaker:
Independent scholar and long-time Adirondack Life contributor Amy Godine has published scores of articles about Adirondack ethnic and social history. She has curated several exhibitions, including “Dreaming of Timbuctoo,” about an abolitionist-founded black settlement near North Elba. Amy has lectured widely in the region on migratory laborers, immigrants, ethnic neighborhoods and enclaves, peddlers, paupers, pilgrims, squatters, strikers, undocumented immigrants, and other Adirondack “non-elites.”