Derek Boyd Hankerson reported to Historic City News that online registration for the upcoming 2012 Conference of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program has begun.
Hankerson, who has shepherded the inclusion of St Augustine, St Johns County and Fort Mose into the national program, told Historic City News that he was excited to see one of his dreams fulfilled when this annual conference convenes locally June 20-24 at the St Johns County Convention Center in the Renaissance World Golf Village.
“Traditional views of the Underground Railroad focus on the northern destinations of freedom seekers — such as the North Star, Canada, and the Ohio River.,” Hankerson said. “That view ignores the many freedom seekers that sought to obtain their freedom in southern destinations.”
The theme of this year’s conference, “Escaping to Destinations South: The Underground Railroad, Cultural Identity, and Freedom along the Southern Borderlands”, is the resistance to slavery through escape and flight to and from the South, from the 16th century to the end of the Civil War.
The 2012 Conference will include participation by independent and academic scholars at all levels, educators, community activists, public historians and preservationists, and multi-media and performance artists. The conference seeks to create a cultural, historical, and interpretive exchange between domestic and international descendent communities of southern freedom seekers.
Annual Conference details and registration information is available at ON THEIR WEBSITE
The National Park Service implemented the National Underground Railroad program to coordinate preservation and education efforts nationwide and integrate local historical places, museums, and interpretive programs associated with the Underground Railroad into a mosaic of community, regional, and national stories.