project leader
Kelsey R
7051 Thomas Blvd.
(Point Breeze)
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the project

This summer, Kelsey Robinson is riding her bicycle through Tennesse, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama visiting historical sites of captivity and uprising. Talking with Ghosts About Freedom is a cycling pilgrimage that memorializes under-told, regional histories of revolt and brazen escape of enslaved peoples, including that of her own personal ancestry. These stories will be interpreted and shared through theater, music, text, and textiles. The journey reclaims a connection to the Outdoors and attempts to tip the use of public lands by people of color towards a balance. It also seeks to offer a homecoming of spirits through offerings and rituals.


the steps

I will visit 1-3 historical sites, archives and cultural centers in Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan before crossing the Canadian border

I'll speak with historians and scholars, read accounts of longing for freedom, clandestine escapes and uprisings

I'll share in-time, online through our website and social media as well as for audiences on the road

destinations include:

New Orleans, Louisiana

Congo Square

Tulane’s Amistad Research Center

Le Musee de f.p.c. of the Mckenna Museum

Paper Machine Studios


Mobile, Alabama

Africatown, early free Black settlement

Mobile Botanical Garden

The Bragg-Mitchell Plantation


Greater Montgomery, Alabama

The Legacy Museum

Tuskegee University's Rare Book Collection 

Shanti Villa Institute, an Ayurveda Environmental Eco-Center



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: $4,000

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

Documentary Production Supplies: $2,000




ioby Platform Fee


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)


ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)






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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • 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