Histories written about the Underground Railroad and the activism of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth often serve as a source of pride and recognition of the courage and ingenuity of black women in American history. But at the same time, that astonishing "secret" system and those brave women are only a part of a much larger story about black women's activism in New York state. In this talk, Dr. Jennifer Thompson Burns will discuss the rich activist tradition of black women in Troy, NY, who mobilized to uplift the free black community and abolish slavery in America, preceding the American Civil War.
Dr. Jennifer Thompson Burns earned her Ph.D. in American History at the University at Albany, SUNY, with a concentration in African American history, Abolition, and Nineteenth-century Global History. Her dissertation, "Black Trojans: The Grassroots Abolition Campaign of the Free Black Community in Troy, NY before 1861," was awarded the SUNY Albany 2019 Distinguished Dissertation Award. Dr. Burns is a Lecturer in the Department of Africana Studies at SUNY Albany and a frequent panelist on NPR's The Roundtable.