Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Following the Drinking Gourd to Freedom’s Land

By: Annmarie Dean

As we gear up for the PBS premiere broadcast of “Underground Railroad: The William Still Story,” our radio stations have created a series that will act as a companion to the television program. The six-part radio series, “The Underground Railroad on the Niagara Frontier,” will broadcast on WNED-AM 970 at 6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. from Jan. 30 through Feb.6 and afternoons on Classical 94.5/WNED-FM at 2 p.m. from Jan.29 through Feb. 3.


“’The Underground Railroad on the Niagara Frontier’ radio series allows WNED to tell important and interesting stories about the history of Western New York and Southern Ontario. Everyone is aware of the Underground Railroad but many don't realize the important role the Niagara region played during that period,” says WNED’s Chief Program Officer John Grant. “The radio series tells powerful stories about individuals and communities in Western New York and Southern Ontario who contributed to the freedom of thousands of slaves. The stories remind us of the important role this region played in the Underground Railroad.”

The series will highlight the significant people and places in Western New York and Southern Ontario that contributed to the flight of many slaves to free land. Included in the broadcast are stories from Buffalo, Lewiston, N.Y., Niagara Falls, N.Y. and Jamestown, N.Y. Perhaps the most intriguing story is that of the community of Buxton, Ontario; considered a haven for fugitive slaves, the community included a church and several businesses.

If you happen to miss one of the segments, fret not!  You’ll be able to listen to the series right on our website. 

Are you looking forward to the radio series? Do you have any stories about the Underground Railroad in your community? Feel free to comment below.

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