The UGRR Youth Ensemble is patterned after the 1850’s actual organization.

The modern day black youth will travel back in time through library archives and museum exhibits to find the community ancestors who walked Detroit streets, more than seven generations past. Each youth selected for the project will research both a real Underground Railroad agent and an authentic freedom seeker.

George DeBaptiste was an agent and President of the African American Mysteries, The Men of the Order of Oppression. DeBaptiste started his activities as the daring, handsome, free black man from Virginia at the age of 16 helping runaways cross the Ohio River, before moving to Detroit in the 1840s. DeBaptiste sometimes disguised himself as a white man and actually confronted slave holders as he was helping their enslaved “property” escape behind their backs.

George DeBaptiste was an agent and President of the African American Mysteries, The Men of the Order of Oppression. DeBaptiste started his activities as the daring, handsome, free black man from Virginia at the age of 16 helping runaways cross the Ohio River, before moving to Detroit in the 1840s. DeBaptiste sometimes disguised himself as a white man and actually confronted slave holders as he was helping their enslaved “property” escape behind their backs.

 
 

Each youth will experience the trials and tribulations of real 19th century life…

Today’s youth are the same age as their subject characters who, 180 years ago started their life-changing escapades as teenagers. These unsung heroes of the past, revolutionized the Underground Railroad, which was a transportation entity that secretly and nonviolently, moved freedom seekers from America’s slave holding southern states to safe areas across Michigan and Ontario, Canada. Utilizing espionage, secret handshakes and passwords, the creative collection of determined Detroit ancestors forced the American government to revalue the institution of enslaving African people and their descendants.

William Lambert was an agent and Secretary of the African American Mysteries, The Order of the Men of Oppression. Lambert started his anti-enslavement organizing as a 13 year old having witnessed an attempted slave return from the streets of Detroit in 1833. For the next 30 years Lambert, a free black, worked diligently trying to dismantle America’s slave system.

William Lambert was an agent and Secretary of the African American Mysteries, The Order of the Men of Oppression. Lambert started his anti-enslavement organizing as a 13 year old having witnessed an attempted slave return from the streets of Detroit in 1833. For the next 30 years Lambert, a free black, worked diligently trying to dismantle America’s slave system.