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Friday Night Talks: Amy Godine, “The Black Woods”

December 1 @ 6:00 pm 7:00 pm

Adirondack Center for Writing (15 Broadway, Saranac Lake)

Join us for a talk with Amy Godine, author of The Black Woods. Godine will present about her book and then take questions from the audience. Copies of the book will be available at the event.

In The Black Woods, Amy Godine recalls the pioneering Black families who moved to the Adirondacks in the mid-19th century to build farms and rural communities, and to gain the right to vote. In 1846 and ’47, upstate abolitionist and land baron donated 120,000 Adirondack acres to 3,000 Black New York men to ease their migration from the cities and their access to the vote. Since 1821, Black New Yorkers were denied the vote unless they could show ownership of $250 in real property. The Black Woods plumbs the rich experience of the grantee-pioneers on an obdurate, unknown frontier, and tracks the fate of Smith’s “scheme of justice and benevolence” in the resistant pages of Adirondack history, and in Black memory, too. 

Independent scholar, writer, and speaker Amy Godine started researching and writing about Adirondack social history in 1988, when she moved to Saratoga Springs. Focusing on the under-told stories of marginalized communities, ethnic enclaves, and Adirondackers of little notice in the environmental narrative, Godine celebrates a peopled Adirondacks as diverse, vivid, and dramatic as the wild land itself.Most of her articles may be found in Adirondack Life. Scholarly journals like Prospects: A Journal of American Cultural Studies,New York Folklore, Hudson River Valley Review: A Journal of Regional Cultural Studies, Clinton County Antiquarian, have published her as well. Her fiction has appeared in The Quarterly, Triquarterly, and The North American Review, among other literary journals.For the social action group, John Brown Lives!, Godine wrote and curated the exhibition, Dreaming of Timbuctoo, which opened at the Adirondack Museum and has since beguiled viewers at venues as far-flung as Rutgers, Skidmore, Siena, St. Lawrence, Middlebury Town Hall, the New York State Museum, the Adirondack Correctional Facility in Ray Brook, the Whallonsburg Grange, and the New York State Fair. It is also on permanent display at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in North Elba.

Adirondack Center for Writing

Saranac Lake, New York 12983