The New Bedford Whaling Museum announces a groundbreaking exhibition: “Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad,” open from May 20 to November 20, 2022. This new exhibition chronicles the experiences of enslaved persons who made their way to freedom using coastal water routes along the United States Atlantic seaboard.
As part of the opening celebrations for this exhibition, the Museum will livestream the opening keynote address on Thursday, May 19, 2022:
Dr. Marcus Rediker, Professor of Atlantic History, University of Pittsburgh
Title: “The Overseas Freeway: Maritime Workers and Fugitives In The Struggle Against Slavery”
Marcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh. His “histories from below” have won numerous awards, including the George Washington Book Prize, and have been translated into seventeen languages worldwide. He is co-author, with Peter Linebaugh of The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (2000) and author of The Slave Ship: A Human History (2007). He produced a prize-winning documentary film, Ghosts of Amistad (2013), directed by Tony Buba. He is currently working as guest curator in the JMW Turner Gallery at Tate Britain and writing a book about escaping slavery by sea in antebellum America.
“Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad” explores stories of the Underground Railroad through the lens of American maritime labor and industries, and seeks to expand historical understanding of how freedom was achieved by sea for many African Americans. It is an extension of the 2021 publication of the same title, a volume of collected essays edited by Professor Timothy Walker (UMASS Dartmouth) and released by UMass Press. The exhibition was co-curated by Timothy Walker and Michael Dyer, Maritime Curator of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. This groundbreaking exhibition expands our understanding of how freedom was achieved by sea and what the journey looked like for many African Americans.
Opening events and lecture (in person or via livestream): Thursday, May 19, 2022
6:00-6:45 pm: Reception & exhibition viewing
6:45-7:45 pm: Lecture
Registration is free.
Advance registration is required via the exhibition website.