The murder of George Floyd has unleashed a swelling of sorrow and anger across the United States. Yet again … yet again … a black person has been killed at the hands of white authority. It seems trite to say that we have seen this too often. We have, for sure. But we also know that the history of our country is bound with the racial exploitation of black people to the betterment of whites.
Today, the Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project stands with the Floyd family and all friends of justice and equality. We know that the injustices of slavery, racism and oppression were part of the history of our own Mid-Hudson region, just as much as across the wider America. The first black enslaved people were brought to our area in the late 17thcentury, and the last of the enslaved weren’t freed until 1827.
The mission of the MHAHP is threefold: to research the history of slavery, antislavery, and the Underground Railroad in the mid-Hudson region: to interpret this history and share these interpretations with residents, visitors, and wider audiences; and to place this local history in the broader context of racial slavery in the New World, the African American experience, and the impact of this history on subsequent struggles for racial and social justice.
Through lectures, workshops, song, teaching, books and community alliances, we commit ourselves to continuing our mission. And we stand today united with the Floyd family, the African American community, and all people fighting for a just and equal United States.
June 4, 2020