From Slavery to Freedom
Presented by BNY Mellon
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Education and Cultural (URR) Program
Explore more than 250 years of African American history in the History Center’s new exhibition, From Slavery to Freedom. The long-term exhibit, presented by BNY Mellon, highlights the history of the anti-slavery movement, the Underground Railroad, and the impact of 19th century activism on the modern quest for civil and human rights in Pittsburgh.
Visitors to From Slavery to Freedom will immerse themselves in the evolution of the region's African American community, embarking on a journey that begins in 18th century Africa, crosses the Atlantic Ocean on a recreated slave ship, and ends in 21st century Western Pennsylvania.
The exhibit details the unexplored history of slavery, abolitionism, and the modern struggle for freedom using artifacts, immersive museum settings, rare documents, interactive activities, and audio/video components. From Slavery to Freedom connects the region's earliest African immigrants to the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s and discusses today's hopes for freedom and equality.
Highlights of the From Slavery to Freedom exhibit include:
- Three new lifelike museum figures, including one of Martin Delany, a prominent Pittsburgh abolitionist and the highest ranking African American officer in the Union Army during the Civil War
- Nearly 60 manumission, indenture, and freedom papers from the History Center's Detre Library & Archives recently discovered by the Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds Office
- A gourd fiddle from the 1850s, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, that was created by enslaved Africans in America
- Several 19th century paintings that depict everyday life for African slaves, including "Slaves Waiting for Sale," by Eyre Crow, on loan from the Heinz Family Foundation
- Touch-screen interactive activities that allows visitors to explore Pittsburgh-area safe houses along the Underground Railroad
From Slavery to Freedom has won major international awards, including American Association for State and Local History, Leadership in History Award for 2013, and African Diaspora World Tourism, Flame Keepers Award for cultural exhibition 2013.
U.S. Department of Education
PPG Industries Foundation
The Pittsburgh Foundation
The Double Eagle Foundation
University of Pittsburgh
African American Chamber of Commerce
For more information, photos, and events related to From Slavery to Freedom, please contact Samuel W. Black, director of African American Programs at the History Center, at 412-454-6391 or email@example.com.
To learn about the exhibition's Advisors and Consultants Committee members, download this document.
In partnership with the exhibit, the History Center is developing a variety of public programs, educational materials, and publications with Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Civil War 150, and nationally known scholars.
See our full schedule of past events.
Links and Resources
- University of Pittsburgh History Department
- Carnegie Mellon University History Department
- World History Center, University of Pittsburgh
- CAUSE, Carnegie Mellon University
- Friends of the Forks in the Road Slave Mart Museum
- Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, Pittsburgh
- Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation
- Pittsburgh Art Institute
- Studio Amakawa
- Pittsburgh Public Schools
- Washington County Historical Society
Projects & Resources Funded By
U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad
Educational and Cultural Program