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Toolbox Library, primary resources thematically organized with notes and discussion questionsOnline Seminars, professional development seminars for history and literature teachersThe Making of African American Identity: Volume I, 1500-1865
The Making of African American Identity: Volume I, 1500-1865
Theme: FreedomTheme: EnslavementTheme: CommunityTheme: IdentityTheme: Emancipation
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COMMUNITY




Fugitive slaves in Canada

Framing Questions
  •  How did enslaved and free African Americans construct communal identities in antebellum America?
  •  What obstacles did they confront from white people? from other African Americans?
  •  How did they respond to these obstacles?
  •  How did African Americans exercise autonomy and influence through community?


1.  The Enslaved Family» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- The enslaved family, selections from WPA narratives, 1930s
- A family history, in Mattie Jackson narrative, 1866
- Buying one's grandson, letter of Cecar Pugh, 1841
- A family separated, letter of Maria Perkins, 1852

2.  Plantation Community» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- The plantation community, selections from WPA narratives, 1930s
- A slave dance and the slave patrol, in Austin Steward narrative, 1857
- "Corn Songs in Harvest-time," in Francis Fedric narrative, 1863
- Work songs recorded in Texas, 1939, audio clips and lyrics

3.  Religion» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Slaves' religious practice, selections from WPA narratives, 1930s
- Slaves' religious songs documented in the southern states, early 1863-64
- The "religion of the south" and slavery, selections from 19th-c. slave narratives
- An enslaved Muslim, memoir of Omar ibn Said, 1831
- Origins of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Richard Allen memoir, 1853

4.  Petitions» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Petition to end slavery, Connecticut, 1788
- Petition to end slavery, Massachusetts, 1788
- Petition for civil rights, South Carolina, 1791
- Petition for redress of grievances, submitted to the U.S. Congress, 1797, excerpts

5.  Mutual Benefit» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Free African Society, founding document, 1787
- Ney York African Society for Mutual Relief, cofounder's address, 1809, excerpts
- Negro mutual benefit societies in Philadelphia, list and contributions, 1831
- New York Phoenix Society, goals, 1833

6.  The Black Press» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Colored American, selections from one year, 1837-1838

7.  Fugitives» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Arnold Gragston, a slave Underground Railroad "conductor," WPA narrative, ca. 1937, excerpt
- John Parker, a free Underground Railroad "conductor," narrative, 1885, excerpt
- Boston Vigilance Committee, expenses, 1850-1855
- Fugitive Slave Aid
- Member Expenses
- "Letter to the American Slaves," convention of free blacks and fugitive slaves, 1850, excerpts

8.  Canada» Text Links / Note / Discussion Questions

- Welcome statement to fugitive slaves in Canada, ca. 1850
- Fugitive communities in Canada, descriptions, 1856



Images:
- Group of fugitive slaves in Ontario, Canada, photograph, ca. 1850. Reproduced by permission of the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture.
- Group of enslaved men, photograph by Henry P. Moore labelled "Slaves of the rebel Genl. Thomas F. Drayton, Hilton Head, S.C.," May 1862, detail. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.



COMMUNITY
1. The Enslaved Family   2. Plantation Community   3. Religion   4. Petitions
  5. Mutual Benefit   6. The Black Press   7. Fugitives   8. Canada








TOOLBOX: The Making of African American Identity: Volume I, 1500-1865
Freedom | Enslavement | Community | Identity | Emancipation


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