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On May 4, 1996 historian and Menare founder Anthony Cohen embarked on a two month journey to explore a tragically overlooked part of American history-the Underground Railroad- the secret network which thousands of slaves traveled to attain their freedom. Cohen began his trek in Sandy Spring, MD traveling a distance of 1,200 miles by foot, boat and rail– and part way mailed inside a crate– to his final destination of Amherstburg, Ontario on July 7, 1996. Following the success of his walk Cohen embarked on second path in 1998 traveling three months from Mobile, AL to Windsor, ON; his story appearing in numerous radio, television and print sources.
In 1997 Cohen prepared television icon Oprah Winfrey for her role as Sethe in the motion picture BELOVED. Blindfolded and dropped on a Maryland plantation, Cohen transported Oprah back to the time of slavery, where for two days and nights she was to live as a fugitive on a simulated Underground Railroad- an experience she later claimed as an inspirational theme for her change-your-life TV show. As a result of the groundswell of interest following Oprah’s experience, Cohen formed The Menare Foundation, Inc. in 2000.
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