African Americans in Pennsylvania

Above Ground and Underground

African Americans in PennsylvaniaFOR nearly 400 years, people of African descent have been among the pioneers of Pennsylvania. But until recently, references and guidebooks largely ignored the historical role of African-Americans in Pennsylvania; for the most part, they have been viewed as outside of the mainstream of American and Pennsylvanian history.

Now African-American history archivist Charles L. Blockson has written this book with a broader scope, covering both the “above ground” activities of African-Americans in Pennsylvania and the pivotal role played by the Underground Railroad.

Here are African-American scholars, scientists, artists, entertainers, sports figures and others who have enriched Pennsylvania through their lives and activities. Here also are the many blacks who risked their lives to escape from slavery to freedom, and the many who helped those who were on the Underground Railroad.

Learn about:

  •  Henry “Box” Brown, the slave who was shipped to Philadelphia in a crate
  •  How a freed black woman saved General Washington’s life
  •  Underground Railroad stations and agents in rural counties
  •  The secret codes, songs, and signs of the Underground Railroad
  • The black female undertaker who transported slaves in caskets
  • The role of women in the quest for freedom
  • Pennsylvania’s historical markers relating to African-American history

Written by Charles Blockson. Illustrations from Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection. Published by RB Books in 2001.

isbn: 1-879441-85-3, HC, 7.5 in. x 9.5 in., 288 pgs, 100 B&W photos