HCA to open Moses Roper exhibit Thursday

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The Apalachicola Center for History, Culture, and Art is pleased to announce a new exhibit, “Journey to Freedom: The Odyssey of Abolitionist Moses Roper.”

The exhibit chronicles the remarkable story of Moses Roper, who was once enslaved on an Apalachicola steamboat but escaped slavery in a 500-mile journey of survival across north Florida and south Georgia in the summer of 1834. After arriving in Savannah, Georgia, he sailed to New York and later to England where he became an author, lecturer, and prominent figure in the abolitionist movement.

The exhibit includes interpretive panels, digital interactive maps, and an 1840 edition of Roper’s autobiography.

“Moses Roper’s incredible story has been largely forgotten for almost 200 years,” said HCA Board Chair Valentina Webb, “This exhibit shines a light on our diverse history, and we are proud to present it to the community and to our visitors from around the world.”

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Sept. 30 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend. There will be a brief talk about Roper’s connection to Apalachicola and his escape from slavery.

Funding for the exhibit included two grants to Apalachicola Main Street - a $10,000 award from the Duke Energy Foundation to develop educational programming for the exhibit, and $5,000 in funding from Florida Humanities, earmarked to include a panel discussion with humanities scholars, and a virtual tour of significant London sites linked to this Florida history. Funding from George E. Weems Memorial Hospital, and donations from several individuals, also helped support the exhibit.

Located at 86 Water Street, the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture, and Art is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Throughout the year, the center hosts regional and national artist exhibits, events, films, lectures, art classes, workshops, cultural events, historic exhibits, and a variety of programs for children and adults.

For more information, please call (850) 653-1458, email info@apalachicolahca.com, or visit www.apalachicolahca.com.

Ali Valenzuela is the executive director of the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture, and Art.

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