Lecturer examines black resistance, Underground Railroad in Ohio Valley


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Maryland historical archaeologist Cheryl LaRoche, who researches pre-Civil War black communities, will lecture March 21 at University of Louisville about the role of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Underground Railroad.

    Her lecture, “William Paul Quinn, the Underground Railroad and the Expansion of the AME Church,” will begin at 6 p.m. March 21 in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library. Quinn, the fourth AME Church bishop, led antislavery activism and established black churches in Kentucky, Indiana and Missouri.

    The free, public talk is the annual Louis Gottschalk lecture, which the College of Arts and Sciences’ history department hosts to promote the study of history and to honor Gottschalk, a former UofL professor and American Historical Association president. UofL’s Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society is co-sponsoring.

    LaRoche also will participate in a noon March 22 roundtable discussion, “Black Resistance in Public: Museums and the Long Black Freedom Struggle,” at the Frazier History Museum, 829 W. Main St. LaRoche and Karolyn Smardz Frost, award-winning author of “I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad,” will join several regional public history professionals in the discussion. Register at http://fraziermuseum.org/panelreservationform.

    LaRoche’s first book was the 2014 “Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance.” The Society for Historical Archaeology awarded her its John L. Cotter Award for her multidisciplinary approach to the study of African American archaeology. She combines law, history, archaeology, geography and culture to explore early black communities, churches and institutions and their relationship to the Underground Railroad.

    She has consulted for the Smithsonian Institution, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, African Meeting Houses and the African American Museum in Philadelphia. She was a project historian for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and archaeological conservator for the African Burial Ground project in New York City.

    For more information, contact Glenn Crothers at 502-852-3757 or glenn.crothers@louisville.edu.


    EDITORS: LaRoche’s photo is attached.

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.