Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Underground Railroad

We had a great week studying the Underground Railroad. Among the books we read were:

Wanted Dead or Alive: The True Story of Harriet Tubman
Follow the Drinking Gourd (with great FIAR lessons!)
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
The Drinking Gourd

That last one isn't the kind of book I would normally choose to read to my kids. In it, the child lies and his father, a deacon in the church(!) tells him that he's done a good job. I decided to go ahead and read it to see if they could spot "the end justifies the means" thinking and I was thankful that they could and that we could discuss it, since that thinking is so prevalent in our society today.

We listened to Follow the Drinking Gourd performed and explained.
We also listened to some great negro spirituals:
Go Down Moses, sung by Louis Armstrong, and
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, belted out by Etta James

And, of course, we looked up at the night sky to find the Big Dipper (the drinking gourd) and the North Star!

At the end of our week, we made the trek to Auburn, NY. It was well worth the drive! 

We visited the Harriet Tubman home and visitor center and received a great personal tour. Our tour guide was wonderfully knowledgeable and so passionate about her subject. Her enthusiasm was contagious.

We were also able to visit the Seward House, which was fascinating. Oh my. This family saved everything. I can't begin to tell you. They even saved the blood-stained, knife-slashed sheet from the assassination attempt on William Seward on the same night that Abraham Lincoln was shot. I SO wish I had been allowed to take pictures inside. The library was amazing! And the paintings! I'm so glad we went.

We crammed a lot into our day in Auburn but this post is getting quite long so I will wait to tell you about the Chapel completely decorated by Louis Comfort Tiffany but, rest assured, it was stunning!

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