Dr. LaRoche is a historical and archaeological consultant who combines law, history, oral history, archaeology, geography, and material culture to define nineteenth century African American cultural landscapes and its relationship to escape from slavery.
She describes a different account of the escape from slavery investigating the role of free black communities and their purposeful creation to aid in the path to freedom in her acclaimed book “Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance.”
The history she uncovers forces us to rethink what we thought we knew and view the present in a different light. Traditionally, Dr. LaRoche’s research and physical exploration have focused on the landscapes of 18th and 19th century free Black communities, their churches, cemeteries and institutions, and their relationship to the Underground Railroad.
As she visited the Pleasant View Site, we marveled at how applicable her research and findings are to our post-Civil War community. Having physically walked historic landscapes from New Hampshire to Missouri to Canada, Dr. LaRoche’s presence truly blessed the Pleasant View historic site, and her insightful brilliance has already left an indelible imprint on The Quince Orchard Project.