They left in the middle of the night—often carrying little more than the knowledge to follow the North Star. Between 1830 and the end of the Civil War in 1865, an estimated one hundred thousand slaves became passengers on the Underground Railroad, a journey of untold hardship, in search of freedom.
In Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad, Jeanine Michna-Bales presents a remarkable series of images following a route from the cotton plantations of central Louisiana, through the cypress swamps of Mississippi and the plains of Indiana, north to the Canadian border— a path of nearly fourteen hundred miles. The culmination of a ten-year research quest, Through Darkness to Light imagines a journey along the Underground Railroad as it might have appeared to any freedom seeker.
Framing the powerful visual narrative is an introduction by Michna-Bales; a foreword by noted politician, pastor, and civil rights activist Andrew J. Young; and essays by Fergus M. Bordewich, Robert F. Darden, and Eric R. Jackson.