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FreedomCon 2021 – Building Community through Free Black Migration before the Civil War

October 23, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


The scholarship on the Underground Railroad movement and the Great Migration is vast but little attention has been paid to the voluntary migratory patterns of free black Americans before the Civil War. Dr. Jennifer Thompson Burns will shine light on the importance of studying the antebellum migratory patterns of free Black Americans in the tri-city area of New York State and use this data to explain the benefits this migration had on black community development past and present.


Jennifer Burns, PhD, is a professor of history in the Africana Studies Department at The State University of New York at Albany. Her concentration is in American history and with the story of Black Citizens of Troy, New York and their work in abolition prior to the American Civil War. Professor Burns is a commentator on WAMC’s Round Table Program, is a board member of Underground Railroad Education Center and The Hart Cluett Museum, and is active in curriculum development and community education. She has received her Masters and Doctoral degrees from the State University of New York at Albany. Dr. Burns has presented at numerous community events and conference, received numerous awards, and has contributed to Civil War Slave Database in Virginia (2011-2012), and Slavery By Another Name (2012).

Today’s event is made possible, in part, by an Action Grant from Humanities New York. Humanities New York encourages critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena through grants, programs, networking and advocacy. Visit to learn more.


October 23, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Mary Liz Stewart