Smardz-Frost: “I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad”

Speaker name: 
Karolyn Smardz Frost
The Bicentennial Visiting Professor for Canadian Studies, Gilder Lehrman Center Yale University
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 11:45am
Dept. of African American Studies, Gordon Parks Room See map
81 Wall St., Room 201
New Haven

In 1985, archaeologists digging in a downtown Toronto schoolyard discovered the remains of a house, a barn and a mysterious cellarway. The property had once belonged to Thornton and Lucie Blackburn, who had escaped from Kentucky slavery in 1831.  The couple’s desperate flight to freedom sparked the Blackburn Riots of 1833, the first racial riots in the city of Detroit, and resulted in the first formal extradition case between the US and Canada. Archaeologist and historian Karolyn Smardz Frost, the Bicentennial Visiting Professor for Canadian Studies at Yale’s Gilder Lehman Center, won the coveted Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction in 2007 as well as Honorable Mention for the Albert B. Corey Prize for the best book on American-Canadian relations in 2007-2008. Here she recounts her 20-year quest to uncover the tale of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn, two desperate young people whose resistance to their enslaved condition changed history in both the United States and Canada. This talk is part of
the GLC Brown Bag Lunch Series. Bring your lunch and we’ll provide the drinks & dessert.