The Mid-to-Late 1800’s

  • Peg Leg Joe and Follow the Drinking Gourd

    Peg Leg Joe and Follow the Drinking Gourd

    By the time of the Civil War, more than 4 million slaves were living in America and all of them longed for freedom. The Underground Railroad wasn’t a real railroad, but a system of roads and safe houses that black people traveled on their way to Canada or New England.…


  • Henry Box Brown

    Henry Box Brown

    Slaves had no control over their own lives — their work, their homes, their health, even their families —were controlled by slave owners. But the slave owners couldn’t control their feelings or their thoughts. And sometimes those feelings and thoughts led to desperate or creative acts. Like when Henry Brown…


  • Moving West: African Americans After the Civil War

    Moving West: African Americans After the Civil War

    After the war, African-Americans were excited to start their new lives. Actually doing it was harder than they expected. First, many white people carried racist attitudes and refused to change. They wouldn’t give African-Americans jobs and sometimes actively hurt or even killed them. And, African-Americans lacked education and skills. They…


  • Booker T. Washington

    Booker T. Washington

    The years after the Civil War were hard ones for freed slaves. Just because a law said they were free did not mean people instantly embraced or accepted them. They couldn’t get jobs or an education and worse, their very safety was often in danger. Booker T. Washington had been…


  • The People Could Fly

    The People Could Fly

    Along time ago in Africa, the people could fly. They walked up into the air like they were climbin stairs. They could fly over the fields like blackbirds, their wings shiny and black. When they were captured and made slaves, they lost their wings. The slave ships were so crowded…


  • The Civil War: Music

    The Civil War: Music

    Enslaved people had almost no control over their own lives. They worked from sunup to sundown, often with little food or proper clothing. They were frequently beaten or mistreated, and their own families could be taken from them. Complaining about their situation could land them a whipping. Yet, they found…


  • The Civil War: High John the Conqueror

    The Civil War: High John the Conqueror

    Originally retold by Steve Sanfield in From Sea to Shining Sea, compiled by Amy L. Cohn. The slaves had little control over their own lives. They had no choice over where they lived, what they ate, what they wore, or even whether they got to stay with their own families.…


  • Nat Turner

    Nat Turner

    Nat Turner led one of the first and largest rebellions against slavery.   Fun Facts Nat was born in 1800 in Virginia. His mother was a slave and it is believed that his father had escaped to freedom. When his owner died, he became property of the owner’s son. Most…


  • Reconstruction after the Civil War

    Reconstruction after the Civil War

    The slaves had waited for their day of deliverance, but when it finally came, the rejoicing didn’t last long. They were ill prepared for life after slavery.   Fun Facts Much of the South was destroyed during the Civil War. Cities, such as Atlanta, were burned down. Both white and…


  • Blacks in the Civil War

    Blacks in the Civil War

    Tension between the North and the South grew over the issue of slavery until the South decided to break away from the country, or the Union as it was called. It wasn’t long before the two sides were at war. Enslaved people finally saw the chance to be free.  …