Dr. Andrea Roberts (The Texas Freedom Colonies Project Founder) and her research team, are excited to announce the launch of a new crowdsourcing project: The Texas Freedom Colonies Atlas along with a survey of settlement locations, preservation activities, and culture.
Since 2014, The Texas Freedom Colonies Project has documented Black settlement heritage and grassroots preservation practice among descendants of these historic communities. Freedom Colonies are everywhere, hidden behind the pine curtain of the rural countryside and beneath the concrete landscapes of Houston, Austin, and Dallas. A large number of freedom colonies were never mapped or became “ghost” settlements and the diaspora of descendants spans the globe.
Though there are some 557 known place names, they have yet to be fully verified and their locations formally mapped. The team has located and verified the existence of 357 settlements. The research team is in the process of reviewing and uploading data on existing and “ghost” settlements throughout the state. However, we need your help to build this database and map!
The Project invites descendants of settlements (as well as researchers, advocacy groups, and preservation agencies) to participate in building the map through a new application and survey. Survey participants can add their freedom colony’s history and stories, memories of visits, images, and unknown freedom colony names and locations.
The TXFC Project research team invites portal visitors to:
- Access the map, search, or add freedom colony location information
- Complete the short and extended form surveys so we may include your community’s traditions, challenges, and triumphs!
- Provide feedback to the project team on the format and content of the map and survey