The Underground Railroad and a slave narrative.
ARCHIVE FOR FEBRUARY, 2009
Slave Narrative Click Here to Listen to a screencast of this blog post
What is a a Narrative?
A Narrative is story told by a person in the first person (“I am a slave”, as opposed to “He was a slave”)
What is a first hand account?
A first hand account is a story by someone who actually witnessed an event. We call it a first hand account when some one “was there”.
For example 50 years from now someway may want to interview you about what it was like when America elected it’s first African American President. You were there, you will remember, you are a witness to this history and you can give an accurate account about what it was really like from your perspective.
Our job is to pretend that we were slaves. That we lived and witnessed slavery in the United States. The U.S. government is trying to preserve the voices of slaves who are still alive. To get their “first hand accounts” written down before they all die. They have sent a man to interview you.
The time: it is 50 years after slavery ended 1915, write an account and tell what it was like by answering some or all of the following questions:
- where did you live, State,?
- did you live in a slave cabin or in the Masters house?
- what job did you do, tell how hard it was and what you did?
- what was the food like?
- how did you feel?
- were you ever beaten?
- were you always afraid?
- were you angry?
- did you try to run away?
- Did you escape on the Underground railroad?
- What was that like?
- What do you think of Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman etc….
- How did you feel when you heard that all slaves were now free
Use details, talk about everyday details that create a picture of slavery.
Get into character in your writing: How old are you now? What do you do now? How important is freedom to you and your family?
Use your imagination to create your “first hand account” of what it was like to be a slave.
Use the following Link to retell the story of Slavery Click here to research about live as a slave and escape on the Underground Railroad. After you finish researching tell what it was like to be a slave.
Tell the Story Imagine the year is 1870. You were once a slave who escaped on the Underground Railroad. You have been asked to share the story of your courageous journey and to describe the brave people who helped you along the way. Answer any or all of the questions below. To help you answer these questions, think about what you’ve learned in this online activity, from the background slideshows to the story of the slave who escaped from Kentucky. If you want to learn even more, read the “Slave Stories.” When you’re done, you can print out your story to share a hard copy with friends and family. Question 1 Tell me about your life as a slave. Where did you live? What kinds of work did you do? What were some of the hardest things about your life?
Question 2 Tell me about your escape from the South. Why did you decide to flee? How did you travel? How did you find your way? How did you survive? How did you feel?
Question 3 Tell me about the people you encountered on the Underground Railroad. What kinds of people did you come across? What are some of the different ways that they helped you? How did the abolitionists influence the Underground Railroad?
Question 4 Tell me about when what happened after you reached freedom. Where did you settle? Why did you choose that place? What kind of work did you do? What were some of the challenges you faced? How did you feel starting your new life?
Question 5 Tell me about the time around the Civil War. How did you feel when the southern states seceded? Did you or anyone you know fight in the war? Why? Explain your feelings about Abraham Lincoln. How did you feel when the war was over and slavery was abolished?