MARCH 2 UPDATE: Here’s an article of interests related to this entry:
Technical assistance: Moses Frimpong:
Listen to entire program here:
February is Black History month and in recognition of this we heard about a new way to get up close and personal with the Underground Railroad thanks to an initiative by the Adventure Cycling Association. The association bills itself as the “…premier bicycle-travel organization in North America with over 43, 500 members.” The organization seeks to “… inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle.” Also, the organization has mapped 41, 399 miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network and “…gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike-travel adventures.” Five years ago, the Missoula, Montana based organization opened up its 2,000 mile Underground railroad Bicycle Route, and this week representatives were in Detroit to unveil the 518 mile Detroit Alternative route which gives cyclists the ability to access sites of interest between Oberlin, Ohio and Owen Sound, Ontario.
This initiative seems to allow people to merge a passion for cycling with the lived experiences of African Americans who traveled the same routes at great risk for freedom.
On the phone from Missoula, Montana was Ginny Sullivan, Special Projects Director at the Adventure Cycling Association. She “manages two major projects for Adventure Cycling – the U.S. Bicycle Route System and the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route.”
Ginny Sullivan on the development of routes along the UGRR. In this clip she mentions the song Follow the Drinking Gourd :
Sullivan also commented on the success of working with cycling enthusiasts in Windsor and Detroit, while also seeming to challenge Windsorites to do more to make our history come alive by building more cycling infrastructure:
The New Center for Health Equity was an important partner with Adventure Cycling, both in terms of bridging the geographical distance between Montana, where the association is based, and the people and history of the states and provinces where the UGRR is:
In the second half hour, I spoke with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African Newswire on the meaning of Black History Month.
He described how the concept was formed and implemented and what he was involved in during the month:
Rockin’ Robbie performed in the studio and picked out a couple of songs honouring Black musicians: