Dr. Alicestyne Turley

Gospel of Freedom: Black Evangelicals and the Underground Railroad

Gospel of Freedom: Black Evangelicals and the Underground Railroad explores the existence of an organized, interracial Underground Railroad freedom network below the Mason-Dixon Line. Gospel of Freedom examines the formation of organized networks of assisted slave escape established prior to the Revolutionary War, which continued until close of the Civil War. Once escaping slaves surfaced beyond Kentucky borders, these invisible “tracks” of freedom became visible in the North as an “Underground Railroad” highlighted by Wilbur Siebert’s 1898 work, The Underground Railroad From Slavery to Freedom. Rather than viewing escapes from slavery as an isolated narrative informed by white, northern abolitionists, Gospel of Freedom examines slave complicity in and active construction of a southern, freedom network which resulted in the formation of black communities, religious, economic, political, and social institutions. The Underground Railroad has been defined as America’s first multicultural, multiracial, inclusive civil rights movement which successfully changed the course of American history, expanded the rules of American citizenship, and aided in creation of American civil liberties. As such, Gospel of Freedom has wide appeal to differing audiences, age groups, religious and social backgrounds, use in scholarly research, and those devoted to seeking a deeper understanding of American political and social history.
Dr. Alicestyne Turley
Born in Hazard, Kentucky, prior to becoming an educator and public historian, Dr. Turley worked in various occupations including Law Enforcement, as a Community Organizer, president of several community-based, non-profit organizations, as well as the first black Administrator to the Mayor of the City of Toledo, Ohio’s first woman mayor, and as a college professor. Her book, The Gospel of Freedom: Black Evangelicals and the Underground Railroad, released by University Press of Kentucky in August 2022, is the 2022 Thomas D. Clark Medallion Book Award. The book is available from Amazon.com, and all popular book vendors. She is currently working on her second publication, Freedom Stories, due for release in 2024.

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