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Adirondacks for All

Adirondack Equality: Nineteenth-Century Black Settlement & Environmental Justice in the North Country

June 14, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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In 1846, communities and organizers from the Hudson River Valley mounted the first voting rights protection efforts for African Americans by purchasing land in the Adirondack Mountains and founding a number of free Black hamlets or Black suffrage communities. The movement was the backbone of what would become the voting rights efforts and Underground Railroad. The Black Suffrage Settlement movement and leaders would directly influence radical resistance efforts like John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. Because suffrage was tied to land ownership, preserving this history has become an important part of conservation efforts in the Hudson Valley. Aaron Mair will bring these stories and connections to life in this presentation and in calling for a permanent exhibit in the North Country to recover and mark this chapter in New York and American history.


 About The Speaker:

Aaron Mair  is a 30-year wilderness expert and environmental justice pioneer, and  advisor to White House’s Commission for Environmental Quality for the Clinton and Obama administrations.  Mair was the first African American president of the Sierra Club, and is well-known for his work in environmental justice. In this talk, he will discuss the first voting rights protection efforts for African Americans.