In Pursuit of Freedom will explore the tension between Brooklyn's phenomenal growth during the nineteenth century based on its intricate ties to slavery, and the moral imperative towards anti-slavery activism by a small group of residents. Set in the tumultuous decade prior to the Civil War, In Pursuit of Freedom will blend real and fictional characters, who were all committed Brooklynites. The play will explore a time in this borough's history when free African-Americans, charted a course of self-determination in order to address the everyday injustices of racism, threats of illegal kidnapping, voter discrimination, and a profound lack of legal and political equality. It was also a time when ordinary men and women, black and white, became abolitionists, in order to end slavery even as their city's wealth depended on the Southern economy. The play will tell new stories about familiar abolitionists and recover activists who have been underrepresented by mainstream narratives. Ultimately, the play will be a venue for exploring American notions of freedom and engage with the ongoing debates of how we define freedom today.
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