Until recently, planners have overlooked unmapped freedom colonies located in rural or unincorporated areas. Inspired by her own familial roots in freedom colonies, social justice, and the book Freedom Colonies by Thad Sitton, planning scholar, Dr. Roberts makes these places visible through her participatory action and ethnographic research. The result: old voices given new purposes, old stories making new maps, old places made visible and relevant.
During Dr. Roberts' research process, she recorded origin stories and grassroots preservation practices. After co-researching with descendants, she was able to create the map above, which contains 35 located freedom colonies! If there are 35 in two counties, how many are there throughout Texas? Having determined what it would take to document every freedom colony in the State, she directed her research team to develop a new crowdsourcing mapping tool. Our research team has 557+ freedom colony place names recorded, and 357 locations mapped! How many more can we map? All of them and more with your help!
Andrea Roberts, Texas Freedom Colonies Founder and Director, and her research team at Texas A&M University are excited to announce the launch of The Texas Freedom Colonies Atlas along with the Mapping Communities and Cultures Survey. Click on the Atlas Button below, to help us test and expand the freedom colony map and database of heritage and locations. See the web map tool guidebook for information about how to navigate the mapping tool.
If you or someone you know are a descendant of a Texas freedom colony, please contribute to our study's survey with your stories and/or images through the short and extended surveys. Click on the button below to access this online survey. Survey data is reviewed for inclusion in the database.
Here is what the survey looks like. You can add stories and images within the short and extended surveys. Click on the button below to access this online survey. Survey data is reviewed for inclusion in the database.
If you or someone you know are a descendant of a Texas freedom colony, please contribute to our study's survey by clicking the button below.
Interested in partnering with the research team or the Project? Email the Founder, Dr. Andrea Roberts, about collaboration and research at firstname.lastname@example.org. For assistance navigating the tool or completing the survey, email email@example.com. Return to the website or to social media by clicking the buttons below.
This project is supported by a grant from Texas A&M University's Division of Research, the College of Architecture, Center for Heritage Conservation, the Institute for Sustainable Communities, and the Center of Digital Humanities Research.