The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom!

The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom! examined the clandestine system of secret routes, safe houses, and ‘conductors’ that escaped slaves used in their courageous journey north from the United States to Canada. It also explored what happened to them after they arrived. An experiential theatre format was used for the exhibition. In a 25-minute multimedia presentation with audio, video projection, and dramatic lighting, the ghost of Deborah Brown told the story of her flight from a life of slavery in Maryland to her new life of freedom in 19th-century Toronto. The Underground Railroad was produced by Parks Canada in cooperation with the Ontario Black History Society. It opened in April 2002 and was relocated in 2003 to Black Creek Pioneer Village where it remained on view until 2006. A travelling version circulated to smaller venues. The exhibition is now installed in the Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate. The research undertaken for The Underground Railroad provided the basis for the illustrated book, The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto!, published in 2002.

Curator: Professor Afua Cooper

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Underground Railroad