|Dr. Rita Pratt|
Tribune Features Writer
BAHAMIAN Dr Rita Pratt is being hailed as a living legend for her vast knowledge on the US/Bahamas Underground Railroad.
Dr Pratt has been doing cultural research in the Bahamas for more than 30 years and founded the African Bahamian Museum and Research Centre, located off Kemp Road.
She was recently invited to the Florida International University to share with students about the intriguing stories surrounding the Bahamian connection to the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses established during the early to mid-19th century, and used by African-American slaves to escape into free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies.
Her invitation to present came after Dr Phyllis Baker, Professor of Sociology at FIU, was introduced to Dr Pratt’s museum by Dr Carole Boyce-Davies, Professor of Africana Studies and English at the prestigious Cornell University in New York.
Due to the extensive knowledge and collection of African diasporic materials, objects and information that was found at the Bahamian museum, Dr Baker invited Dr Pratt to give a lecture to the students.
The highlight of the lecture was the US/Bahamas Underground Railroad Freedom studies and its link to the struggle of the US-Creole slaves who took a stand against enslavement in order to attain their freedom on the Bahamas seas and in the city of Nassau.
Some of the information Dr Pratt shared detailed how black and white Bahamians played a pivotal role in freeing some 135 US-Creole slaves in 1841. Read more >>