BHM Webinar America’s Black Pioneers


Please join the Global Black Caucus as we host a conversation with author Anna-Lisa Cox about her groundbreaking research and book The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality.

Paul Gardullo, curator, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture said “The Bone and Sinew of the Land unearths and shines a light on a crucial but untold African American and American history that parallels and complicates the well-known story of the Underground Railroad….This work will not only influence scholarship. It should also deeply shape public history.” 

This a great opportunity to learn about a part of African American history that is not well known but that we all should know. Expect a fascinating discussion which will leave wanting to know more about the journey of America’s Black pioneers.

RSVP today.

Participant Location

Webinar Time

Kuwait City, Kuwait 21:30 AST
Frankfurt, Germany 19:30 CET
London, United Kingdom 18:30 GMT
Washington DC, USA 13:30 EST
Vancouver, Canada 10:30 PST



 The long-hidden stories of America’s black pioneers, the frontier they settled, and their fight for the heart of the nation.

 When black settlers Keziah and Charles Grier started clearing their frontier land in 1818, they couldn’t know that they were part of the nation’s earliest struggle for equality; they were just looking to build a better life. But within a few years, the Griers would become early Underground Railroad conductors, joining with fellow pioneers and other allies to confront the growing tyranny of bondage and injustice.

The Bone and Sinew of the Land tells the Griers’ story and the stories of many others like them: the lost history of the nation’s first Great Migration. In building hundreds of settlements on the frontier, these black pioneers were making a stand for equality and freedom. Their new home, the Northwest Territory—the wild region that would become present-day Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin—was the first territory to ban slavery and have equal voting rights for all men. Though forgotten today, in their own time the successes of these pioneers made them the targets of racist backlash. Political and even armed battles soon ensued, tearing apart families and communities long before the Civil War.

This groundbreaking work of research reveals America’s forgotten frontier, where these settlers were inspired by the belief that all men are created equal and a brighter future was possible.




Anna-Lisa Cox is an award-winning historian on the history of racism and race relations in nineteenth-century America. Currently a fellow at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, she also was a recent Research Associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture where her original research underpinned two major exhibits, including one on black pioneers. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her research, including a Gilder Lehrman Foundation Fellowship and grants from the Spencer Foundation. She is also the author of A Stronger Kinship: One Town’s Extraordinary Story of Hope and Faith

February 27, 2019 at 1:30pm - 3pm Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Angela Fobbs ·
Ruth Pordes Gregory Blackley Noelle Crist-See Monica Schulte Kelsey Martin Janet Weiler Angie Vachio Kenneth Sherman Lissette Wright Robert V. Scott Constance Borde Rebecca Naidis Katie Solon Jonathan Scanlon Kathryn McLamb Rick Wicks Caroline Ballard Karen Lee Kathryn Edson Barbara Frondel Martha McDevitt-Pugh Darius Pruss Katie Bathgate Lisa Ramos Carol Graham Sarah Fancy Kathleen Dameron Susan Vaillant David Wenk Willem Bakker

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