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The Underground Railroad

This page includes a guide and discussion questions to accompany the DVD titled The Underground Railroad. I have broken it down into sections with a brief overview and questions for each segment.

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Segment 1: A Symbolic Name

This section starts with the reenactment of a hunt and recapture of a run away slave.  It explains the the name Underground Railroad is given to the 200 year fight to free slaves in America.  The name Underground Railroad was first used by slave owners to describe the means and ways slaves escaped.  It is considered to be America's first civil rights movement and was dependent on cooperation between blacks and whites.Discussion Questions:1.What was the Underground railroad?2.Who called the slaves escape the Underground Railroad?  Why?3.Was it an organized, structured network?4.How did owners get run away slaves back?

Segment 2: Oh To Be Free

This section weeds out fact from fiction about what most people know, or think they know about the Underground Railroad.  It introduces Uncle Tom's Cabin through reenacting Eliza's escape.  It also introduces the most famous heroes of the abolitionist movement.Discussion Questions:1.How many slaves traveled on the railroad?2.Why did slaves want to escape?3.Name three “conductors” and explain how their actions made a difference.4.What happened to an escaped slave if his owner had him recaptured?

Segment 3: Slavery

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A brief overview of slavery of Africans in North America, starting with the Spanish, extending to Jamestown and the creation of our nation.  This segment defines the institution of slavery as, “the absolute power of one person over another.”  It also explains the economic necessity of slavery on the colonies/states.  Slaves are termed “involuntary immigrants.”Discussion Questions:1.Why was slavery brought to America and why did it last?2.Did slaves know about escape?  3.What is slavery to America's heritage?

Section 4: Earliest Escapes

A lot of info in this one....Slavery was in both the North and South. early slaves had no place to run.    The only options for escape were to travel west, to Mexico, or venture to the Caribbean and hide on an island.  Some chose to join Native American tribes and many descendants today can trace their roots back to an escaped slave who was accepted into a tribe before the US became a country.  Fort Moosa is introduced.    (More to come...)

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