project leader
Kelsey R
7051 Thomas Blvd.
(Point Breeze)
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No updates yet.

the project

Talking with Ghosts About Freedom is a pilgrimage that memorializes these undervalued histories of revolt and brazen migrations of Black and Indigenous people while passing through the regions in which they originated. I am seeking the histories missing from the plaques and common conversation and insisting they be inserted. If you aren’t traveling slowly, with intention and attention, these stories don’t come to you. I am making this ‘hajj’ to gain a visceral empathy and understanding of the vastness of land covered. The journey itself reclaims a connection to the outdoors and attempts to tip the use of public lands by people of color towards a balance by using diverse routes of expression. I am illustrating what a relationship to the Outdoors can look like. As I ride I am challenging historically compounded barriers of inaccessibility, fear and trauma that exist for people of color around and within the forest. 


These are the goals in presenting the work:

A full-length stage production. 

A documentary film.

A book.

(A miniature version of all three were created in residency at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and are visible on the website)

A self-guided walking or cycling tour at historical sites that incorporates immersive storytelling using geo-tagging, scavenger hunt, and gaming elements of play.


the steps

I've now completed tours from:

Pittsburgh to New Brighton, PA along the Adventure Cycling Network's Underground Railroad Trail

Nashville, TN to Natchez MS along the National Park Service's Natchez Trace

The upcoming tour starts in New Orleans, LA and connects to the Underground Railroad Trail via Mobile, Alabama. Then it connects to The Trans North Georgia Trail via Montgomery. It ends on historical Gullah territory on coastal South Carolina. 





why we're doing it

I believe it is important to:

share these histories as a step away from the narrative that Black people passively endured enslavement

talk about the heroism and passage of the tens or thousands of 'every-day-people' not exclusively the idolized figures of the Underground Railroad

use the Arts and cycling as a way of engaging people from all walks

seek ancestral connection, by honoring their courage and giving offerings with traditional, African spiritual rituals




Transit Fees to for in-person interviews for the documentary: $1,000

Cycling/Camping Equipment in order to produce the documentary: $500

Documentary Production Supplies: $541.48

  Normal Fees
TOTAL RAISED = $2,219.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $110.95
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $66.57




Transit Fees to for in-person interviews for the documentary: $4,000

Cycling/Camping Equipment in order to produce the documentary: $1,500

Documentary Production Supplies: $2,000


PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED =$7,500ioby Platform Fee$35ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)$410ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)$246TOTAL TO RAISE =$8,190



Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Phil L.
  • Thatch
  • Anonymous
  • Kelly H.
  • Jean Behrend
  • Laurie K.
  • Sue Rock "KWJumper Superfan"
  • Hazel
  • Mel Packer/Emily DeFerrari
  • Vincent R.
  • Stewart U.
  • Leigh Leigh F.
  • Kris Rust
  • Anonymous
  • Emilie C.
  • BL
  • Lauren L.
  • Ange
  • Molly S.
  • Katyana G.
  • Evelyn C.
  • Karen Hannon
  • Anonymous
  • Tobin S.
  • Jonathan S.
  • Anne Lieberman
  • Slam
  • Rich Keitel