An 1851 poster that was distributed and put up around Boston to warn African Americans about the dangers of dealing with law enforcement officials.

The struggle for liberty is a universal human experience. All peoples, at all times, and in all places have formed various conceptions of freedom, born out of their distinct historical experiences and cultural memories. This is no less true for African-Americans, for whom the concepts of liberty, freedom, tyranny, and slavery took on particular resonance in the United States, a so-called “republic of liberty” - unless you happened to be one of the four million enslaved Americans held in legal bondage at the start of the Civil War in 1861.

SFL is excited to announce the breakout session “Death or Liberty: A Libertarian Revisionist View of Black History” for the 2013 International Students For Liberty Conference! This session will retrace black American history, revealing the deep tradition of freedom figures and ideas whose voices and actions have contributed to the liberation of blacks from slavery, challenged the legal inequalities of Jim Crow, and who envisioned a world of self-actualized, confident, free individuals; free to transcend the collectivized stigmatism of race while also remaining free to embrace and celebrate the rich culture and unique history of experiencing blackness in the United States. The name of this session, “death or liberty” is taken from the motto scrawled across the  banners used in Gabriel Prosser’s 1800 slave rebellion in Virginia, phraseology that echoes both Patrick Henry’s famous declaration and the rhetoric of the slave-led Haitian Revolution.

This session will also point a way forward for continuing the tradition of black American liberty, paying particular attention to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) movement as an example of Hayekian social change, its history of cradling the ideas of black classical liberalism, and its promotion of the values of self-reliance, independence, responsibility, and education that undergird free societies and form the cornerstone of the HBCU mission.

This session will be co-hosted by Northeast Regional Director James Padilioni, Jr., a PhD American studies student at the College of William and Mary and Campus Coordinator Eugene Craig, III, a student at Bowie State University, the oldest HBCU in the state of Maryland.

In case you didn’t know, TODAY IS THE FINAL DAY TO REGISTER FOR THE 2013 INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS FOR LIBERTY CONFERENCE! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to learn about liberty, network with some of the liberty movement’s top organizations, and make hundreds of new libertarian friends. Register now!