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Adirondack youth explore history of slavery in upstate New York

LAKE PLACID - An anti-slavery convention in the Adirondacks will put slavery "on the map" as a reality not solely of the South, but of northern states Saturday, Dec. 4 - Sunday, Dec. 5 in various locations in Lake Placid.

"We hope to point out that slavery is not a bygone crime against humanity, but a legacy and a blight still with us today," said Martha Swan of Newcomb Central School and contributor to the anti-slavery convention.

During the two-day convention, experts on contemporary slavery and human trafficking will be joined by scholars, historians, victims advocates, lawyers, investigative reporters, musicians, and the general public to examine historical and contemporary slavery and trafficking in New York State and ways to end it.

The weekend includes an educators workshop at Heaven Hill Farm Dec. 4, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Activities Dec. 4 include Slavery, Film & the Shaping of an American Conscience at Lake Placid Center for the Arts, 7 - 9 p.m., a conference at High Peaks Resort, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., a wreath-laying ceremony at John Brown Farm State Historic Site, 5 - 6 p.m. and a closing reception at Northwoods Inn.

The event is co-sponsored by the freedom education project John Brown Lives, John Brown Coming Home, the New York State Archives Partnership Trust, the National Abolition Hall of Fame, and the Center for Diversity, Pluralism & Inclusion at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Recent research has begun to reveal the rich history that slavery holds in New York State as the country approached the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

"New Yorkers have long regarded slavery as a southern institution," said Swan. "However, the 1991 discovery of the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan offered irrefutable evidence that New York was a veritable slave society for hundreds of years."

For more information on the convention, visit www.johnbrownlives.com or contact johnbrownlives@westelcom.com and naj@kvvi.net.

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