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How one online database is retelling the stories of those who escaped from American slavery

Photo from the Freedom on the Move archive
Courtesy of Freedom on the Move
Newspaper clippings like the one pictured were used by enslavers after the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. Photo from the Freedom on the Move archive.

Juneteenth, a day to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people, is just around the corner. We learn how some local venues, including the New Orleans African American Museum, are celebrating the holiday. But equally important to celebrating is learning more about the lives of the enslaved.

University of New Orleans Professor Mary Niall Mitchell tells us about Freedom on the Move, an online database that seeks to document the lives of escaped people through newspaper ads placed by enslavers. We learn more about her research and how a recent grant will help expand this work.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Karl Lengel. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman, Aubry Procell, and Thomas Walsh. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated over two decades of on-air experience and is currently WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for “Louisiana Considered”. He holds a BS in Professional Management from Nova Southeastern University and an MFA in Film and Theatre from the University of New Orleans.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WWNO from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.