Speaker to shed light on Underground Railroad & Fugitive Slave Law

photo of Richard Blackett

The Tulsa Community College Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration presents Richard Blackett at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the Lorton Performance Center at the University of Tulsa and 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in the Center for Creativity on the TCC Metro Campus. 

Blackett will present “Into the Belly of the Beast: The Southern Arm of the Underground Railroad” Feb. 20 and “Community Resistance to the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law” Feb. 21. 

“The presentations will focus on the efforts of slaves to escape as well as examine individual cases of flight of fugitive slaves—where they were going and how this influenced the way people began to see the future of slavery in the U.S.,” Blackett said. “I will also discuss the people who went into the South to help people escape, which was very dangerous. When many of them were caught, they lost their lives.” 

Blackett is the Andrew Jackson Professor of History at Vanderbilt University and co-editor of the series “Antislavery, Abolition and the Atlantic World” published by Louisiana State University Press. He is the author of a number of books dealing with the trans-Atlantic abolitionist movement and the role played by African Americans to win international support for their struggle against slavery and discrimination. 

He is currently studying the ways communities on both sides of the slavery divide organized to either resist or support enforcement of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. To hear a preview of Blackett, click here.

These presentations are funded by a TCC Faculty Innovation Grant.