Digging up the story of the Underground Railroad

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Digging up the story of the Underground Railroad

Historian and archeologist Karolyn Smardz Frost told stories of the Underground Railroad and people seeking freedom in Canada to an audience at the University of Windsor on Thursday night.

Frost was presenting her lecture, "Digging for the Promised Land," at an event presented by both the Essex County Black Historical Research Society and the University.

"Recovering the lost stories of the freedom seekers," is how Frost described her life's work while speaking at the public lecture.

Parts of her presentation covered African-Canadian and African-American communities, on both sides of the Detroit River, working to successfully escape to Canada.

"I think that a lot of people from our region are familiar with the fact that the Underground Railroad gave people a chance to find freedom in our region," said Irene Moore Davis of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society.

"But they don't necessarily have an understanding of how important people on this side of the border were in organizing that anti slavery activity," Moore Davis added.

Frost's appearance at the University was also in support of her recently published work, Steal Away Home. The non-fiction book looks at the life and eventual freedom of fugitive slave, Cecelia Reynolds. 

About 50 people representing a mixture of backgrounds and age groups attended the lecture. According to Frost, sharing stories of leaving slavery behind is what inspires her.

​"I have been blessed by having tremendous support from the communities with whom I work," she said. "32 years I've been working in the field and I've been blessed, all the way through."