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300 Miles To Freedom

Airs Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: John W. Jones. On June 4, 1844, Jones and four of his companions headed north. They were fugitive slaves who escaped bondage in Leesburg, Virginia. "300 Miles to Freedom" chronicles Jones’ journey to freedom on the Underground Railroad and his remarkable life as a free man in Elmira, New York.

On June 4, 1844, John W. Jones and four of his companions headed north. They were fugitive slaves who escaped bondage in Leesburg, Virginia. "300 Miles To Freedom" chronicles John W. Jones’ journey to freedom on the Underground Railroad and his remarkable life as a free man in Elmira, New York.

Tombstone of John W. Jones, June 21, 1817 - December 26, 1900.
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Above: Tombstone of John W. Jones, June 21, 1817 - December 26, 1900.

"300 Miles To Freedom" filmmakers Anand Kamalakar and Richard Breyer.
Enlarge this image

Above: "300 Miles To Freedom" filmmakers Anand Kamalakar and Richard Breyer.

When John arrived in Elmira, he was a twenty-seven-year-old illiterate with $1.46 in his pocket. He died in 1900, a wealthy, literate, respected member of the community.

The filmmakers traveled Jones’ route to freedom, and tell his story through the voices they meet along the way — historians, ferryboat captains, ministers, farmers and gas station owners.

"300 Miles To Freedom" celebrates the courage and tenacity of fugitive slaves like John W. Jones. The film also celebrates those who quietly stood up to injustice by helping slaves escape on the Underground Railroad and by fighting for their freedom through the Abolitionist Movement.

View a photo gallery of stills from the film.

"300 Miles To Freedom" is on Facebook, and you can follow @300M2Freedom on Twitter.

Video

Trailer: 300 Miles To Freedom

Above: "300 Miles To Freedom" chronicles John W. Jones' journey to freedom on the Underground Railroad and his remarkable life as a free man in Elmira, New York.