Aspen Ideas To Go

Runaway Slave: A Story of Triumph, Survival, and Resistance

Runaway Slave: A Story of Triumph, Survival, and Resistance

Show Notes

A young, courageous African American woman risked it all to gain freedom from America’s First Family in the late 18th century. Ona, or “Oney,” Judge escaped George Washington’s Philadelphia mansion after years of serving as a seamstress for the famous founding father. There’s little written about Judge. Historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar stumbled on Judge’s story by chance when she discovered a runaway slave advertisement. “I remember sitting back and saying, ‘Who is this Ona Judge and why don’t I know her?’” Dunbar went on to write "Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge." In this episode she speaks with Michele Norris, founder of The Race Card Project and executive director of The Bridge at the Aspen Institute, about what Judge’s story can teach us about racial injustice and gender inequality.


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