Friday, September 2, 2016

From THE NEW YORKER . The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad Hardly anyone used it, but it provides us with moral comfort—and white heroes.

Fantastic article a good friend found where historical distortions are so perfectly exemplified. The Full Read is very worthwhile.

by Kathryn-schulz

....For one thing, far from being centrally organized, the Underground Railroad was what we might today call an emergent system: it arose through the largely unrelated actions of individuals and small groups, many of whom were oblivious of one another’s existence. What’s more, even the most active abolitionists spent only a tiny fraction of their time on surreptitious adventures with packing crates and the like; typically, they carried out crucial but banal tasks like fund-raising, education, and legal assistance. And while fugitives did often need to conceal themselves en route to freedom, most of their hiding places were mundane and catch-as-catch-can—haylofts and spare bedrooms and swamps and caves....

FULL ARTICLE

Kathryn Schulz joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2015. In 2016, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing and a National Magazine Award for “The Really Big One,” her story on the seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest. Previously, she was the book critic for New York, the editor of the environmental magazine Grist, and a reporter and editor at the Santiago Times. She was a 2004 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism and has reported from Central and South America, Japan, and the Middle East. She is the author of “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error” (2010).