COLUMBUS– State Rep. Willis Blackshear (D-Dayton) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill (HB) 340, which would designate September as “International Underground Railroad Month” to honor the history of Ohioans who contributed to the Underground Railroad’s mission of justice for enslaved people.
“With the passage of HB 340, we are honoring, preserving, and recognizing the lives and stories of freedom seekers, abolitionists and those whose names are no longer known that helped enslaved people escape to freedom. Ohio will be joining 11 other states in preserving this history,” said Rep. Blackshear.
September marks the month that both Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass made their escape from slavery to freedom. The history of Ohio is intimately linked with the history of the Underground Railroad in the United States. Ohio was a free state in the Union, and crossing the Ohio River was a checkpoint for enslaved people who were escaping to freedom in other Northern states and in Canada.
The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.