DREAMING OF TIMBUCTOO
–where Black freedom, voting rights and Adirondack history meet
As if the events of November 8 were not world-changing enough, we now face the possibility of voter suppression and ballot-hacking during the 2016 election.
But we know that assaults on voting rights in the United States are nothing new. The right to vote has always demanded a brave and visionary activists and vigilant defense. And the Adirondacks’ place in this saga is narrated in the “Dreaming of Timbuctoo” Exhibition.
Thanks to an outpouring of support for an earlier Adirondack Gives campaign, John Brown Lives! was able to update its flagship exhibition and bring it home to the John Brown Farm State Historic Site where the 1846 “scheme of justice and benevolence” it details is on permanent display, inspiring visitors to the site.
The “scheme” aimed to help New York’s men of color meet a racist property requirement devised to suppress the emergence of a black electorate. It involved the giveaway of
120,000 acres of Adirondack wilderness to 3,000 black New Yorkers. It united black and white abolitionists in common cause for equal voting rights and attracted John Brown to move to the Adirondacks to be a friend and neighbor to the new arrivals.
“Dreaming of Timbuctoo” has also served as a springboard for conversations about systemic racism, voting activism, agrarian reform, and interracial collaboration.
But it’s not enough to tell this story and jumpstart these conversations in the Adirondacks.
That’s why John Brown Lives! (JBL!) is investing in a duplicate exhibit and already fielding requests from a college in New Jersey, a community group in Central New York, and an historic site on the shores of Lake Ontario. And that’s for starters!
To engage wider audiences, we need your support to purchase a second set of exhibition banners and to hold an institute for teachers and museum educators next year.
Please make this your moment to support “Timbuctoo” with a gift to John Brown Lives! We are close to getting this worthy project fully funded, but we still need your help. And when you make your contribution, know how carefully it will be used, and how very grateful we at John Brown Lives! are for your support.