Commission on Human Rights
Announcing the 49th member of the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights will unveil the poster of Margaret Garner as a Great Black Kentuckian during a free program at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 4, at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.
Garner was a slave in Covington, Ky., whose flight for freedom to Cincinnati in January 1856 became the basis for the book by Toni Morrison and the subsequent movie and opera, ”Beloved." Garner was recaptured hours after her escape and in her anguish and mental torment killed her baby daughter rather than have the child live in slavery.
Her subsequent trial on whether she should be tried as a person in Cincinnati for the death of her daughter or be returned to Kentucky as a fugitive slave brought national attention to the abolition movement. Garner was returned to Kentucky as a slave and died two years later, still hoping that one day her family would be free.
She will be the 49th person named as a Great Black Kentuckian by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. The event will be part of the commission's 50th anniversary public awareness campaign to promote civil rights, which is ongoing throughout 2010. The commission is the state agency that defends civil rights in housing, employment, public accommodations and financial transactions.
The program on March 4 at the Freedom Center will feature music, a clip on the Margaret Garner story that was produced several years ago by KET, and presentations by leaders of the human rights commission, Freedom Center and educational and political leaders from Kentucky and Ohio.
There will also be a ceremony at 4:30 p.m. that day to lay a wreath at Garner’s historical marker at Sixth and Main Streets in Covington. The public is invited to attend both events. For more information, please contact Mary Ann Taylor at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, (800) 292-5566.