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Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)
Sarah Barringer Gordon (Project Director: December 2018 to present)
Kevin A. Waite (Co Project Director: February 2019 to present)
The Long Road to Freedom: Biddy Mason (1818-1891) and the Making of Black Los Angeles

Preparation of a co-authored book and website relating to the remarkable story of freedwoman Biddy Mason (1818-1891) and her role in the development of the First African Methodist Church in Los Angeles. (36 months)

The project will result in the first scholarly treatment of freedwoman Biddy Mason's pioneering career and the community she helped build. A book-length study and a robust website, complete with digitized documents and interactive maps of nineteenth-century Los Angeles, will tell the story. For scholars and generalist audiences alike, these publications will reveal a new, continental history of slavery and freedom, as well as the little-known African American origins of one of the nation's most important cities.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
African American History

Collaborative Research

Research Programs

$242,000 (approved)
$242,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2019 – 9/30/2022