Where and How Does the Underground Railroad Fit in African American Archaeology?

Author(s): Cheryl LaRoche

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Bridging Connections and Communities: 19th-Century Black Settlement in North America" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Deepening understanding of connections among the Underground Railroad, black communities and the larger abolitionist movement has important implications for archaeology. The Underground Railroad can be conceived as a transient, local and international place-based practice with static components. The homes of abolitionists, black and white, churches and institutions in the built environment served as refuge. Freedom seekers moved between these static places, on land and on water. Legal, sociological, political and geographic pressure impacted migration, family and community formation, religious institution building and the quest for education, all analytical components of the black communities that facilitated escape from slavery. This talk brings together connections among African American community formation, migration, and geography in support of escape from slavery and the development of the UGRR, crucial for the advancement of archaeological theories and practices supported by multiple avenues of inquiry. Placing the Underground Railroad in diasporic contexts will also be discussed.

Cite this Record

Where and How Does the Underground Railroad Fit in African American Archaeology?. Cheryl LaRoche. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456879)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 677