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  • NYS Writers Institute

EVENT: "Timbuctoo" documentary screening / Q&A with filmmaker Paul Miller

In November 2021, hundreds attended our screening and panel discussion of Paul Miller’s documentary "Searching for Timbuctoo" at UAlbany's Page Hall.

Here is another opportunity to view this important film.

In 1846, New York State enacted a law requiring African American men to own $250 worth of property to vote. To circumvent this unjust law, radical abolitionist Gerrit Smith devised a “scheme of justice and benevolence” and gave away 120,000 acres of land in Essex and Franklin counties to 3,000 free Black men, thereby qualifying them to vote.

Paul Miller's documentary “Searching for Timbuctoo” tells the history of this forgotten settlement and New York on the brink of civil war and follows an archaeology team looking to unearth evidence of the community. The film reconstructs the nearly forgotten history of that refuge, the pre-Civil War Adirondack settlement of African American homesteaders known as “Timbuctoo.” View the trailer

Featured voiceovers include civil rights activist Alice Green, Congressman Paul Tonko, former Sierra Club president Aaron Mair, and WAMC’s David Guistina.

In November 2020, the NYS Writers Institute displayed a Timbuctoo exhibit at the University at Albany. That exhibit is now on display at the NYS Museum's Adirondack Hall.

Details: "Timbuctoo" documentary screening / Q&A with filmmaker Paul Miller

7 p.m. Thursday, May 5, 2022

Huxley Theatre

NYS Museum

222 Madison Avenue Albany, NY 12230

Event Registration:

Please register in advance at Walk-ins can’t be guaranteed admission.

Masks are not required but highly recommended for visitors and non-staff.

Paul Miller is an independent writer, filmmaker and photographer based in upstate New York.

As 20-year veteran of broadcast and cable television, he has worked for national shows and networks, including The History Channel, National Geographic Channel, PBS headquarters, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. He currently serves as Senior Director of Advancement Communications at UAlbany.

Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credit is available to educators who attend this program. The New York State Museum is an approved provider of CTLE. If interested in attending and receiving a certificate of attendance, educators can register by sending their name and contact information to James Jenkins at


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