Freedom Project

The Illinois Freedom Project is an extraordinary web based, youth-focused, multimedia project that provides resources to teach the interconnected story of slavery to freedom through the lens of people, places and events in Illinois from the eighteenth century French settlements through early twentieth century Chicago. The video series illustrates the many Illinois places that relate to the  slavery to freedom story. One also sees and hears the perspectives of young people – especially African American youth – as they learn about these stories and places. One goal of the goal of the project is to teach history. Equally important is the goal of inspiring young people by presenting stories of victory through adversity. An important aspect of the Illinois Freedom Project has been taking the youth participants on field trips around the state to see the places where people made history. The Mythic Mississippi Project thanks Tim Townsend from the NPS Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield for bringing this wonderful project to our attention. Our admiration also goes to Tim’s many community partners and the student mentors.


Part 1.  Slavery in Illinois

Part 2. A Bad Start (1685 Code Noir created by France and aftermath with Menard)

Part 3 – not available

Part 4. Votes Count

Part 5. Facing Injustice

Part 6. Taking a Stand

Part 7. Community (New Philadelphia, Miller Grove, Town of Equal Rights)

Part 8. A Network to Freedom (Underground Railroad)

Part 9: Perseverance (Indentured Labor, Cahokia Courthouse, Jarrot vs. Jarrot)

Part 10: Courageously Taking the Step (African American Soldiers in the Civil War)