ALL hosts presentations about African-Americans in early Illinois April 2 and May 4

LLCC’s Academy of Lifelong Learning invites the public to the presentation “Slaves, Indentured Servants and Free Black Leaders in Our ‘Free’ State, 1818-1860” by Kathryn Harris and Tara McClellan McAndrew. It will be offered free of charge on Tuesday, April 2, 11 a.m. at the Trutter Center and on Saturday, May 4, 5:30 p.m. at the Springfield and Central Illinois African-American History Museum, 1440 Monument Avenue, Springfield. Pre-registration is requested by calling the LLCC Community Education office at 786-2432.

Harris will share what she has learned about Priscilla Baltimore, who has been called the “Harriet Tubman of the West.” Baltimore was involved in bringing numerous runaways from the slave state of Missouri across the Mississippi River to Alton, Ill. She also fostered the establishment of the town of Brooklyn, Ill., an early African-American town that was incorporated and still in existence. McAndrew’s previous work as a historian and writer has explored slavery in Illinois. For this grant, she looked for stories of African-Americans who were enslaved or indentured in Illinois.

The presentations are funded under the Forgotten Illinois research grant program of Illinois Humanities and sponsored through a partnership between ALL and the museum. Volunteers from both organizations assisted the speakers with research for the presentations.