Apalachicola Main Street is developing an exhibit dedicated to Moses Roper (1815-1891), who was once a north Florida slave but went on to become a prominent author and lecturer who dedicated his life to abolition. After a daring escape in 1834, Roper travelled 500 miles on foot from Marianna, Florida to Savannah, Georgia where he sailed to New York.
In 1835, he sailed to England where abolitionists paid for his education. Roper then published one of the best-selling slave narratives in history, Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper from American Slavery and over the next decade lectured over 2,000 times across the British Isles.
The planned exhibit, which will be the world’s first dedicated to exploring Roper’s life and legacy, will be displayed at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture, and Art in February 2021. Funds raised will assist with a digital mapping project that traces the arc of his life and bold journey of survival, a process which includes intensive historical research across several states.
The Moses Roper exhibit project would not be possible without the support of two recently awarded grants. We received a Community Project Grant from Florida Humanities. As the non-profit statewide partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Florida Humanities awards federal funds each year to local organizations to create a variety of free, humanities-rich programming to diverse communities across the state. These programs and resources seek to preserve Florida’s diverse history and heritage and to promote civic engagement and community dialogue.
In addition, we were honored to have received a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation. Among the Foundation’s funding priorities are supporting projects that strengthen communities through impactful projects that focus on expanding cultural program access for under-served and diverse populations and supporting initiatives involving social justice and racial equity.
These grants will cover the costs of a digital interactive kiosk and the graphic design and production of the exhibit panels.
Apalachicola Main Street, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 2011 as part of the Florida Main Street and National Main Street networks. This project reflects our commitment to promoting diverse historical and cultural heritage.
To learn more, visit www.MosesRoperProject.org.