Presented by Amy Godine, independent scholar and Adirondack historian
Many Progressive-era conservationists who loved the Adirondacks for its purity of water, air, wildlife and woodlands, were also beguiled by the cause of racial purity, defending stringent immigration restrictions and the protection of “Anglo-Saxon gene stock” as conservationist measures. How did their romance with pseudo-scientific racism inform their vision of the Adirondack Park? Amy Godine tracks this exclusionary legacy in the Adirondack narrative with examples from conservationist literature, travel writing, newspapers, and stories from her new book, The Black Woods.
From Saratoga Springs, Amy Godine is an independent scholar and Adirondack historian. She has been writing about ethnic, Black, migratory, and other non-elite Adirondack communities since 1988. Her book, The Black Woods: Pursuing Racial Justice on the Adirondack Frontier, is just out from Cornell University Press.