What Is The Hob In The Underground Railroad? (Correct answer)

Summary and Analysis Chapter 2. Cora’s mother ran away when Cora was 10 or 11 years old. Without a mother, Cora became a misfit among the slaves and was sent to live in the Hob, a cabin for women who do not belong anywhere else, including those who are unfit to work or mentally unstable.

  • Hob is where “the wretched” are exiled—enslaved people who have been “broken” either physically or mentally by the torture of plantation life. At first men lived in Hob, but now it is women, many of whom call out the names of their dead children in the night.

What was the significance of the okra seeds in the Underground Railroad?

They were used as slaves and treated horrifically. All they had was their culture and their roots. These Okra seeds symbolized what was left. They already accepted that they had robbed their homes, but these whites would never be able to rob them of their values, their roots.

What were some symbols used in the Underground Railroad?

Certain Songs were sung as symbols of Underground Railway members. “All Clear” was conveyed in safe houses using a lighted lantern in a certain place as this symbol. Knocks on doors used a coded series of taps as symbols of identity. Certain items, such as a quilt, were hung on a clothesline.

Is Cora dead in Underground Railroad?

Cora is a slave on a plantation in Georgia and an outcast after her mother Mabel ran off without her. She resents Mabel for escaping, although it is later revealed that her mother tried to return to Cora but died from a snake bite and never reached her. Caesar approaches Cora about a plan to flee.

What happened to Big Anthony?

Big Anthony is an enslaved man who runs away from Randall, only to be captured and returned in an iron cage. Terrance arranges for him to be tortured and killed over the course of a gruesome three-day ordeal. Mrs.

Who is the little black boy in Underground Railroad?

Oscar-winning writer and director Barry Jenkins adapted the series from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name and has said of all of the portrayals in his drama, Homer, masterfully played by 11-year-old actor Chase Dillon, scared him the most because the child worked against his own best

Why are the tree trunks painted white in the Underground Railroad?

Trees painted white protects them from sun damage Paint can also be used to protect exposed tree trunks in cases where the bark has been damaged, this method protects the fragile trunk against pests and further damage until the bark has recovered.

Why did slaves use codes?

Supporters of the Underground Railroad used words railroad conductors employed everyday to create their own code as secret language in order to help slaves escape. Code words would be used in letters to “agents” so that if they were intercepted they could not be caught.

Who was the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad?

Our Headlines and Heroes blog takes a look at Harriet Tubman as the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. Tubman and those she helped escape from slavery headed north to freedom, sometimes across the border to Canada.

Were quilts used in the Underground Railroad?

Two historians say African American slaves may have used a quilt code to navigate the Underground Railroad. Quilts with patterns named “wagon wheel,” “tumbling blocks,” and “bear’s paw” appear to have contained secret messages that helped direct slaves to freedom, the pair claim.

Why does Stevens rob graves?

According to his society, Stevens’ grave robbing is a crime but not the most serious of crimes. Stevens himself chooses to understand grave robbing as a noble calling in order to ease his own conscience.

How many children did Cora’s grandmother have?

Ajarry is Cora’s grandmother and Mabel’s mother. She was born in Africa before being kidnapped and enslaved slave in America, where she is sold so many times that she comes to believe she is “cursed.” She has three husbands and five children, of which Mabel is the only one to survive.

Where did Caesar go in Underground Railroad?

Caesar is an enslaved man who lives on Randall and invites Cora to run away with him. Born in Virginia to Lily Jane and Jerome, Caesar spends most of his life in Virginia (owned by Mrs. Garner), before being sold south and ending up on Randall.

What happened to Chester in Underground Railroad?

Chester is a young boy who lives on Randall. Cora takes a liking to him because, like her, he is a “stray” (an orphan). When Terrance forces the enslaved population to dance, Chester accidentally knocks Terrance’s wine onto his shirt, causing both Chester (and Cora, who defends him) to be brutally whipped.

How old is the little boy in the Underground Railroad?

There are cruel plantation owners, haunted slave catchers, and bigoted religious zealots making Cora’s (Thuso Mbedu) path to freedom fraught with horror and anguish, but perhaps the most terrifying person standing in the way of Cora’s freedom throughout the series is a 10-year old boy named Homer. Chase W.


Because of the disappearance of Mabel, Corabe is labeled a “stray” and is sent to Hob, the hut for exiled women on Randall. However, despite the fact that the other residents of Randall assume that all Hob women are mad, the only thing that actually unifies the women who live on Randall is their separation from the rest of society. The pain and cruelty of slavery have undoubtedly contributed to some people’s mental illness, but others, like as Cora, have simply been branded as unusual and shunned on the basis of their perceived uniqueness.

Cora, on the other hand, grows to appreciate the other women in Hob as well as the community they have created together.

Hob also serves as a stepping stone for Cora in her journey to liberation because the desire to flee necessitates an element of crazy.

Throughout her quest to escape, Cora is accompanied by the spirit of Hob, who inspires her to be courageous, rebellious, and fearless.

Hob Quotes inThe Underground Railroad

The statements about the Underground Railroad that follow all make reference to the emblem of Hob. You may view the various personalities and topics that are associated with each quotation by clicking on their names (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:). Please keep in mind that all page numbers and reference information for the quotes in this section apply to the Doubleday version of The Underground Railroad released in 2016. They were exiles, but once they arrived in Hob, he gave a certain level of security.

  1. Some nights, the walls of Hob served as a fortress, protecting the inhabitants from feuds and intrigues.
  2. HobPage Numberand Citation:54 are related symbols.
  3. Every name is a valuable asset, a living capital investment, and a profit made flesh.
  4. People were not reduced to numbers in her inventory of loss, but rather were multiplied by the kindnesses they had shown.

People she had cherished, people who had been supportive of her. Lovey, Martin, and Ethel, Fletcher, three of the Hob ladies. Caesar and Sam, as well as Lumbly, were among those who vanished. Related Symbols:HobPage Number and Citation:215Explanation and Analysis: HobPage Number and Citation:215

Hob Symbol Timeline inThe Underground Railroad

The following timeline illustrates when and where the symbol Hob occurs in The Underground Railroad novel. The colorful dots and symbols next to each appearance show which themes are related with that particular occurrence. .named Ava becomes angry of Cora and works a deal with the authorities to have Cora detained in Hob. (full context)Hobis are places where “the wretched” are exiled—enslaved persons who have been “broken” either physically or mentally by their captors. Because of this occurrence, Cora becomes the most “famous” inhabitant of Hob as a result of the tragedy.

  • Blake’s doghouse is used by Cora.
  • (read the rest of the sentence) Wrestling contests are taking place, and Lovey expresses her desire to wrestle with one of the participants.
  • One of them has a history of seizures, while the other two have experienced trauma.
  • Nag was pleased with her accomplishments.
  • Caesar pays a visit to Cora atHob on the night before Big Anthony’s sentence begins, and Cora brings him to the abandoned, crumbling schoolhouse where they may chat about life.
  • (See the whole context.) But he tells Cora that Fletcher is a trustworthy individual.
  • Mabel is a mystery, and Cora has a feeling about it.
  • Cora, who has lost track of herself, observes that 40 is “yourHob.” Cora feels unhappy to be leaving the Andersons, who she considers to be wonderful employers.
  • (See the complete context.) During a conversation with another captive man, he inquired about Cora and was told to avoid Hobwomen.
  • (Context is provided in full) To request a new book, you must first sign up for a free LitCharts account.
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The Hob Women

In Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad, the Hob ladies are a loosely defined group of social misfits that live on the plantation with Cora, who is the main character. Those who fall into this category are women who are crippled, mentally sick (or believed to be), or otherwise damaged or weird in some manner. Cora’s life of ostracism is sealed by her association with these ladies, although she does get certain advantages as a result of her situation. In part because of her reputation as a Hob woman, at least among other slaves, Cora is subjected to less abuses since she is feared for being almost viciously aggressive and illogical, which makes her a target for abuse.

Historically, because African American culture was dishonored and ridiculed from the beginning, African American culture has always had greater freedom to be imaginative and inventive in its expression.

Because so few people took black people’s comments seriously in the past, black people were able to express themselves more historically.

A large portion of the inquiry and discovery of the “heart of the American character” has, in my opinion, been carried out mostly by black people.

This much is true of this badge of disgrace, because it pushes you to look at everything with a critical eye and permits others to disregard your obnoxious and disruptive pursuit for truth.

The Underground Railroad Chapter 2: Georgia Summary and Analysis

It is Cora’s point of view that we are introduced in the second chapter, which begins with her sitting at the edge of her little garden plot, anticipating the commencement of celebrations to commemorate the birthday of a fellow slave, Jockey. She shares memories of the garden, a place where she “owns herself for a few hours” every Sunday and where she “owns herself for a few hours” (12). When her grandmother, Ajarry, came on the Randall plantation, she was the one who planted the first seed in the plot.

  • Cora was left to fend for herself when she was eleven years old, when she was left to fend for herself.
  • Blake, a young, strong laborer who had recently joined the Randall plantation, was the next to arrive.
  • When Cora was overcome with wrath, she “smashed the doghouse with a hatchet” (19), as she put it.
  • Cora’s social standing deteriorated even worse as a result of the incident.
  • No one intervened.
  • Continuing on the day of Jockey’s birthday celebration, the tale continues.
  • This type of celebration, a mini slave liberation, is exclusively observed in the northern half of the Randall population, during the reign of King James I of England.
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Chester, a stray that Cora takes care of, is among the children preparing for the races, and Cora observes them with amusement.

After the races, Cora is approached by Caesar, a new slave with whom she has never talked before.


I’d want you to come.

After that, they all sit and watch the wrestling contests until eventually, the dancing begins; this is an opportunity for the slaves to form “an enclosed circle around themselves that separated the human spirits within from the depravity beyond” (28).

In the middle of the slaves’ rejoicing, the Randall brothers arrive out of nowhere, bearing wine glasses in their hands.

Terrance, on the other hand, preys on the female slaves under his control.

Terrance notices that Michael has died as a result of a beating by the overseer, Connelly, and decides to make the slaves dance to entertain them.

Terrance starts beating Chester with his cane, causing him to bleed profusely.

After only a split second, she rushes to defend Chester with her own body, and the cane lands on her instead.

It has taken Cora several days to recover from the cane as well as from the whipping that followed it three days later.

Cora considers her mother’s escape from the Randall plantation as she struggles with her health, and readers finally learn the story of Mabel, who ran away from the Randall plantation years earlier, leaving Cora behind.

The missing yams, however, were never found because Mabel had taken them with her and left the empty garden plot for Cora to take over.

Two days later, James passes away, and Terrance is preparing to take over his brother’s half of the family plantation.

The night before his punishment, Caesar pays a visit to Cora in Hob, where he attempts to persuade her to join him on his escape, but she rejects him once more.

Terrance gives them a presentation on the increased cotton yields he anticipates, as well as other new, harsher policies.

After that day, Cora has a change of heart and decides to flee the country with Caesar.

A local lawyer instead liquidated her estate, and Caesar’s family was divided and sold in the southern United States.

On one occasion, a white gentleman approached him and offered to let him sell his bowls at his shop during the week.

They begin their escape the night before, when Cora digs up a bunch of yams from her garden to take with her, and they make their way through a swamp at the edge of the Randall plantation.

They have no choice but to agree and continue on their journey.

During the altercation, Cora smashes a rock into the head of a boy who is trying to restrain her and manages to flee with his life.

Cora and Caesar arrive safely at Fletcher’s house, where he informs them of the current state of affairs.

Because of Cora’s assault on her assailant, they were now “as good as murderers” in addition to being fugitives on the run.

They make it safely through the town and continue on their journey.

A stairwell leads them to the train platform, where Lumbly, the station agent, greets them and leads them into the station.

Lumbly provides them a sketchy train timetable, and the runaways take the next train, despite the fact that they have no idea where they are going.

They board the train, and it begins its journey. Cora sits and watches the night pass them by till they arrive at their destination, when they step out into the South Carolina sun.


After describing life on the Randall plantation in the second chapter, the author creates an atmosphere that serves as a somber background for the remainder of the novel. Terrance Randall, the plantation’s master, is a despotic dictator. His most graphic manifestation involves bringing in woodworkers to carve magical sculptures into stocks that were originally intended to be used as a punishment for a runaway slave. The narrator explains how the carvings in the wood light up as they burn, “twisting in the flames as if they were alive” (47), while Big Anthony is publicly tortured and burnt alive, on display for three days straight.

  1. Readers will understand why Cora wants to flee as a result of these detailed details, which will help them grasp her motivations for wanting to go.
  2. Through the course of the narrative, Cora will make many allusions to this terrible backdrop.
  3. Two of Cora’s distinguishing attributes are on exhibit in this first chapter: her capacity to forge her own path in the midst of adversity and, in a related vein, her will to succeed in spite of obstacles.
  4. Internal rivalries and petty vendettas exist on the plantation—for example, rumors circulate that Cora slips out to the marsh on full moons to engage in fornication with donkeys and goats—all of which contribute to the plantation’s “usefulness” to the society (21).
  5. The text does not indicate for whose advantage this imposed “circle of respectability” is in place: whether it is for the benefit of slaves or for the profit of masters (21).
  6. At least at initially, being in the company of “abject animals” such as the mentally and physically challenged residents of Hob makes her feel uncomfortable (17).
  7. In addition, she begins to believe that she is a part of the group as well.

Cora’s “castle” on the estate is transformed into a genuine home for Hob and her family (54).

Cora is also revealed to be a character with a strong sense of purpose.

In particular, Blake, a competent field worker who wants to take over the plot of land for his dog, stands out as a particularly powerful schemer.

Blake’s doghouse is then demolished with a hatchet in front of a mob of bystanders, and she escapes without injury.

More than merely resolve, the language implies that Cora’s actions are guided by an intuitive sense and are unique in their own right.

During the event, Cora is described by the narrator as being “weird” and “under a spell,” and thereafter she is unable to recall what compelled her to execute the deed (19, 39).

Combining her strong emotionality with her determination, Cora proves to be an extremely formidable protagonist.

There have been reports that even Ajarry has vowed to use violence if anyone disturbs her vegetable plot.

This first chapter, in particular, underscores the significance of mother to daughter inheritance, a concept that will recur often throughout the rest of the book.

Cora and Caesar are about to go on their first journey on the subterranean railroad when the conductor, Lumbly, informs them that the actual face of America can only be seen from the train itself.

The Underground Railroad Questions and Answers

The Underground Railroad’s Question and Answersection is a fantastic resource for asking questions, finding answers, and discussing the work with other readers. A fugitive is defined as “a person who has escaped from a location or who is in hiding, especially in order to evade arrest or persecution” by the dictionary. Xavier C1186790 posed the question. Jill d170087 responded on 10/29/2021514 PM to your question. View All of the Answers As stated in the text: “I prefer the American spirit, the one that drew us out of the Old World and into the New,” in order to conquer, construct, and civilize.

  1. In order to elevate the less fortunate races.
  2. And, if not, why not?
  3. A perceptive, clever, and driven individual is described as her personality traits.
  4. Ellie S1044832 posed the question.
  5. View All of the Answers Speculate on Your Own Question

The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead Symbols – Studypool

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Symbols are items or figures that artists employ to convey a concept or idea in their work. Cora’s garden is a little plot of land on Randall that is just three yards square in size, and where she plants vegetables. It was passed down down the generations from Ajarry to Mabel, and then to Cora after Mabel ran away from home. Ajarry and Mabel have both passed away, and Cora’s “inheritance” has been described as a physical expression of the personal traits she acquired from her mother and grandmother: the strength to persist from Ajarry, and the daring to rebel from Mabel.

  1. In the course of their escape, Cora and Mabel bring vegetables from their garden with them to help them survive; the garden therefore becomes a metaphor of life and possibilities, as well as the future and freedom.
  2. When Blake attempts to take over Cora’s garden for his dog, Cora protects it vehemently, foreshadowing her protection of her own life and independence for the remainder of the story.
  3. However, despite the fact that the other residents of Randall assume that all Hob women are mad, the only thing that actually unifies the women who live on Randall is their separation from the rest of society.
  4. Being assigned to Hob is commonly seen as a misfortune; many of the town’s citizens avoid contact with Hob women, and odd tales about them are circulated among the populace (such as the story that Cora has sex with animals).
  5. Being deemed mad, on the other hand, provides a measure of protection from violence and hostile treatment.
  6. Cora’s expulsion from the group provides her with the opportunity to fantasize about throwing herself out of Randall and into the scary uncertainty of life on the run.
  7. A 12-story structure in an unidentified town in South Carolina, where Cora stays in the dorms, is referred to as the Griffin Building in the novel.


The administration of the hospital is located in the building, and records are also stored there, including files for all of the inhabitants of the black dormitory.

Griffin, because of its immensity and high-tech characteristics, represents modernism, development, and the promise of the future.

They are proud of their concept, and they believe that Griffin represents all that the town has accomplished.

Administrative regulations and recordkeeping allow the state to retain control over black people, and the riches gained in the South are derived from the exploitation and brutality of slave labor in the first place.

The figure of Griffin therefore comes to represent the way in which American progress and modernity are built via the use of violence against the black community.

The remains are disfigured and decomposing, and the Freedom Trail serves as a grim reminder of the realities of white supremacy in the United States.

In this manner, the Trail symbolizes the inconceivable and unlimited brutality perpetrated against black people, as well as the utter moral vacuum created by white supremacy.

It is also hard to ascertain the precise number of persons who were killed in this manner because of how prevalent and institutionalized the violence was.

In the narrative, the trail serves as a visual confirmation of the metaphorical link that exists between death and liberation.

Most of those who fled with Cora and/or aid in her escape are slain, and Cora is tormented by her own metaphorical Freedom Trail, which is composed of all the killings that occur during her escape. Cora’s own symbolic Freedom Trail is comprised of all the deaths that occur during her escape.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – Teacher’s Guide: 9780345804327

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR TEACHERS Instructions for Teachers The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a system of transportation that allows people to flee their homes. Cora, a young African American lady who goes to freedom from the antebellum South via a magnificently conceived physical—rather than metaphorical—railroad, is introduced in The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. The locations and people Cora experiences throughout the novel, which is told in episodes, furnish her and the reader with important discoveries about the consequences of captivity.

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The reader is reminded of the importance of hope, of resistance, and of freedom via Cora, making The Underground Railroadan essential supplement to any classroom curriculum.

An understanding of the slave trade, slavery, and how it operated in the United States is necessary in order to make sense of the number of Africans who were enslaved and the historical legacy of enslavement that has lasted through Reconstruction, the civil rights movement, and up to the present day in the United States.

  • Most importantly, including The Underground Railroadallows readers to bear witness to a counter-narrative of slavery that is not generally covered in the literature on slavery.
  • Because of the Underground Railroad, we are reminded that her tale may be used as a springboard for bigger talks about racism, gender, and a slew of other critical issues.
  • When used at the collegiate level, the book is suited for writing and literary classes, race and gender studies, and first-year/common reading programs, among other things.
  • The prompts are organized according to the standard that they most directly support.
  • For a comprehensive listing of the Standards, please see the following link: warnings: There are multiple instances of violence throughout the text (sexual and physical).
  • Although teachers should not avoid exposing children to these events, guiding them through them via conversation and critical analysis will help them gain a better understanding of the consequences of enslavement as it has been experienced by so many people throughout history.
  • Activity in the Classroom Make a list of all the ways in which Cora fights against the dehumanization that comes with servitude.

Then hold a Socratic seminar to determine in what ways she is a “insurrection of one” (172) and why her resistance is such a threat to the system of white supremacy.Key Ideas and Specifics : CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.3 Examine the consequences of the author’s decisions about how to develop and connect the many aspects of a tale or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

  • Even while whites continue to orchestrate festivals among the slave population in South Carolina, free people are free to congregate and spend time with one another whenever they choose.
  • And what do these get-togethers have to say about community, kinship, and happiness?
  • What aspects of South Carolina’s enslavement are similar to those of slavery?
  • What characteristics distinguish South Carolina from Randall?
  • Her reading materials include a Bible and almanacs, which “Cora admired.
  • What role does the act of reading, and hence literacy, play in Cora’s ability to be free?

Consider, as well, how Ethel and Ridgeway use the Bible and religion to justify slavery: “If God had not intended for Africans to be enslaved, they would not be in chains” (195); and Cora’s observation: “Slavery is a sin when whites are subjected to the yoke, but not when Africans are subjected to the yoke” (195).

  • This is how Ridgeway describes his position: “I’m an idea of order.” Likewise, the slave who vanishes is only a fictitious concept.
  • If we allow it to happen, we are acknowledging the fault in the imperative.
  • Is there a “defect in the imperative,” and why is it critical for Ridgeway and the larger institution of enslavement that is reliant on Black people that this flaw be addressed and eliminated?
  • Mingo and Lander are similar in many ways.
  • What are the similarities and differences between these two guys and Booker T.
  • E.
  • Du Bois?

Examine the relevance of how each person who worked on the railroad—from station agents to conductors—was influenced by their jobs and the railroad itself.

Which concepts such as resistance, agency, and responsibility do these individuals hold dear to their hearts?

The ability to read and to be literate provided one with a tremendous instrument for comprehending the world and for liberating others from oppression.

Consider the significance of the Valentine library, which boasts “the largest collection of negroliterature this side of Chicago,” among other things (273).

What role does Cora’s experience play in articulating the relationship between freedom and literacy?

Cora’s grandmother, Ajarry, is our first introduction to her.

What role does Ajarry play in setting a good example for Mabel, and in especially for Cora, is unclear.

A comparison has been made between the episodic structure of The Underground Railroad and that of Jonathan Swift’sGulliver’s Travels by Colson Whitehead.

A station agent tells Cora, “If you want to see what this country is all about, I always say you have to ride the rails,” as he tells her he wants her to ride the trains.

What role does Lumbly’s appraisal play in framing Cora’s next phase of her trip once she leaves Georgia?

Cora travels the majority of the way by herself.

Years ago, she had taken a wrong turn and was no longer able to find her way back to the folks she had left behind” (145).

Also, how do her travels influence her perspective on the ever-present threat of sexual assault against Black women, as well as the general lack of protection for enslaved women?

Examine the Friday Festivals and the night riders to see how they compare.

What are the ways in which these occurrences express worries of black rebellion?

Instead, he and his family were sold and split apart by the government.

Gulliver’s Travels is the title of the book.

The notion of literacy for freedom is sustained by Caesar’s hunger for knowledge in what way is unclear.

Who was the one who started it?

The question is, how could this be both a “community striving for something precious and unique” and a threat to others (such as the residents in the nearby town, slave hunters, and so on)?

Is there a clear message about risk and return in this?

Why is Sam the only one that returns to Cora out of all of the agents she has encountered?

Look at page 285 and see how Lander responds to Mingo.

What is the role of illusion throughout the narrative, and why is this particular moment so important for the acts that follow?

“You have a responsibility to pass on something beneficial to your children” (293).

What is their legacy in Cora, and how has it been realized?

Examine the relevance of turning the Underground Train into a real-world railroad system.

Create stations for students to study and debate each advertising based on a framing text (for example, “New Databases Offer Insight into the Lives of Escaped Slaves” from the New York Times).

What are some of the parallels and contrasts between the actual announcements and Cora’s version of them?

Knowledge and ideas are integrated in this process.

“That tale, like so many that we tell about our nation’s past, has a complicated relationship to the truth: not exactly false, but simplified; not quite a myth, but mythologized,” argues Kathryn Schultz in her essay “The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad” in the New Yorker.

For what reason is it necessary to emphasize African Americans’ participation in the abolitionist movement?

According to the Slave Memorial Act of 2003, “the District of Columbia shall be the site of a memorial to slavery to: (1) acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery throughout the United States and its thirteen American colonies; and (2) honor the nameless and forgotten men, women, and children who have gone unrecognized for their undeniable and weighty contribution to the development of the United States.

” There are no national monuments dedicated to the enslavement of Africans in the United States at this time.

What is the most appropriate method to commemorate and remember the enslavement of African people?

Draw on examples from the book to support your reasoning as you create an artistic depiction that places Cora inside that lineage, stretching the history all the way to the current day.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.11-12.7 Research projects that are both short and long in duration are carried out to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; when necessary, inquiries are narrowed or broadened; and multiple sources on the subject are synthesized to demonstrate understanding of the subject under investigation.

One of the episodes should be chosen as a starting point for doing critical analysis and presenting findings from research on one of the issues listed below, along with an explanation of how that topic relates to the novel’s themes.

forced sterilization, settler colonialism, lynching, African Americans and abolitionism, African American slave rebellions, sexual violence against African American women, reparations, literacy practices during and after enslavement, the role of white women in slavery, maroons and maronage, racial health disparities, and reparations.

  1. (Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations,” The Atlantic, November 2005.
  2. Social Theory, Sociology, “Settler Colonialism: An Introduction from the Perspective of Global Social Theory.” (E.
  3. The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City.
  4. NPR’s “Fresh Air” program.
  5. Kathryn, “The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad” is a book about the Underground Railroad.
  6. Works of Spectacular Interest Podcast with a historically black cast.
  7. Ashley Bryan is a writer of children’s books.

Ava DuVernay’s Thirteenth (film) Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Alex Haley (film), Joel C.

Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is a classic.

Promoting High Achievement Among African American Students, Young, Gifted, and Black (Young, Gifted, and Black), Theresa Perry is a woman who works in the fashion industry.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is located in Washington, DC.

Gregory Christie is a writer and poet from the United Kingdom.

Heather’s book, Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery, is a must-read for anybody interested in African American history.

Author of Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom, Heather A.

Monroe Work is the webpage for the Lynching Project.

Kimberly N.

Previously, she served as president of the New England Association of Teachers of English and as the National Council of Teachers of English’s Secondary Representative at-Large for the secondary division.

A Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Champaign, Dr. Parker is an expert in the field of education. WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUThtml /

The True History Behind Amazon Prime’s ‘Underground Railroad’

If you want to know what this country is all about, I always say, you have to ride the rails,” the train’s conductor tells Cora, the fictitious protagonist of Colson Whitehead’s 2016 novelThe Underground Railroad, as she walks into a boxcar destined for the North. As you race through, take a look about you to see the genuine face of America.” Cora’s vision is limited to “just blackness, mile after mile,” according to Whitehead, as she peers through the carriage’s slats. In the course of her traumatic escape from servitude, the adolescent eventually understands that the conductor’s remark was “a joke.

  1. Cora and Caesar, a young man enslaved on the same Georgia plantation as her, are on their way to liberation when they encounter a dark other world in which they use the railroad to go to freedom.
  2. ” The Underground Railroad,” a ten-part limited series premiering this week on Amazon Prime Video, is directed by Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins and is based on the renowned novel by Alfred North Whitehead.
  3. When it comes to portraying slavery, Jenkins takes a similar approach to Whitehead’s in the series’ source material.
  4. “And as a result, I believe their individuality has been preserved,” Jenkins says Felix.
  5. The consequences of their actions are being inflicted upon them.” Here’s all you need to know about the historical backdrop that informs both the novel and the streaming adaptation of “The Underground Railroad,” which will premiere on May 14th.
See also:  Who Worked With Harriet Tubman In The Underground Railroad?

Did Colson Whitehead baseThe Underground Railroadon a true story?

“The reality of things,” in Whitehead’s own words, is what he aims to portray in his work, not “the facts.” His characters are entirely made up, and the story of the book, while based on historical facts, is told in an episodic style, as is the case with most episodic fiction. This book traces Cora’s trek to freedom, describing her lengthy trip from Georgia to the Carolinas, Tennessee and Indiana.) Each step of the journey presents a fresh set of hazards that are beyond Cora’s control, and many of the people she meets suffer horrible ends.) What distinguishes The Underground Railroad from previous works on the subject is its presentation of the titular network as a physical rather than a figurative transportation mechanism.

According to Whitehead, who spoke to NPR in 2016, this alteration was prompted by his “childhood belief” that the Underground Railroad was a “literal tunnel beneath the earth”—a misperception that is surprisingly widespread.

Webber Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons While the Underground Railroad was composed of “local networks of anti-slavery people,” both Black and white, according to Pulitzer Prize–winning historianEric Foner, the Underground Railroad actually consisted of “local networks of anti-slavery people, both Black and white, who assisted fugitives in various ways,” from raising funds for the abolitionist cause to taking cases to court to concealing runaways in safe houses.

Although the actual origins of the name are unknown, it was in widespread usage by the early 1840s.

Manisha Sinha, author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, argues that the Underground Railroad should be referred to as the “Abolitionist Underground” rather than the “Underground Railroad” because the people who ran it “were not just ordinary, well-meaning Northern white citizens, activists, particularly in the free Black community,” she says.

As Foner points out, however, “the majority of the initiative, and the most of the danger, fell on the shoulders of African-Americans who were fleeing.” a portrait taken in 1894 of Harriet Jacobs, who managed to hide in an attic for nearly seven years after fleeing from slavery.

Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons “Recognizable historical events and patterns,” according to Foner, are used by Whitehead in a way that is akin to that of the late Toni Morrison.

According to Sinha, these effects may be seen throughout Cora’s journey.

According to Foner, author of the 2015 bookGateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, “the more you know about this history, the more you can appreciate what Whitehead is doing in fusing the past and the present, or perhaps fusing the history of slavery with what happened after the end of slavery.”

What time period doesThe Underground Railroadcover?

Caesar (Aaron Pierre) and Cora (Thuso Mbedu) believe they’ve discovered a safe haven in South Carolina, but their new companions’ behaviors are based on a belief in white supremacy, as seen by their deeds. Kyle Kaplan is a producer at Amazon Studios. The Underground Railroad takes place around the year 1850, which coincides with the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act. Runaways who had landed in free states were targeted by severe regulations, and those who supported them were subjected to heavy punishments.

In spite of the fact that it was intended to hinder the Underground Railroad, according to Foner and Sinha, the legislation actually galvanized—and radicalized—the abolitionist cause.

“Every time the individual switches to a different condition, the novel restarts,” the author explains in his introduction.

” Cora’s journey to freedom is replete with allusions to pivotal moments in post-emancipation history, ranging from the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in the mid-20th century to white mob attacks on prosperous Black communities in places like Wilmington, North Carolina (targeted in 1898), and Tulsa, Oklahoma (targeted in 1898).

According to Spencer Crew, former president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and emeritus director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, this “chronological jumble” serves as a reminder that “the abolition of slavery does not herald the abolition of racism and racial attacks.” This problem has survived in many forms, with similar effects on the African American community,” says the author.

What real-life events doesThe Underground Railroaddramatize?

In Whitehead’s envisioned South Carolina, abolitionists provide newly liberated people with education and work opportunities, at least on the surface of things. However, as Cora and Caesar quickly discover, their new companions’ conviction in white superiority is in stark contrast to their kind words. (Eugenicists and proponents of scientific racism frequently articulated opinions that were similar to those espoused by these fictitious characters in twentieth-century America.) An inebriated doctor, while conversing with a white barkeep who moonlights as an Underground Railroad conductor, discloses a plan for his African-American patients: I believe that with targeted sterilization, initially for the women, then later for both sexes, we might liberate them from their bonds without worry that they would slaughter us in our sleep.

  1. “Controlled sterilization, research into communicable diseases, the perfecting of new surgical techniques on the socially unfit—was it any wonder that the best medical talents in the country were flocking to South Carolina?” the doctor continues.
  2. The state joined the Union in 1859 and ended slavery inside its borders, but it specifically incorporated the exclusion of Black people from its borders into its state constitution, which was finally repealed in the 1920s.
  3. In this image from the mid-20th century, a Tuskegee patient is getting his blood taken.
  4. There is a ban on black people entering the state, and any who do so—including the numerous former slaves who lack the financial means to flee—are murdered in weekly public rituals.
  5. The plot of land, which is owned by a free Black man called John Valentine, is home to a thriving community of runaways and free Black people who appear to coexist harmoniously with white residents on the property.
  6. An enraged mob of white strangers destroys the farm on the eve of a final debate between the two sides, destroying it and slaughtering innocent onlookers.
  7. There is a region of blackness in this new condition.” Approximately 300 people were killed when white Tulsans demolished the thriving Black enclave of Greenwood in 1921.
  8. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons According to an article published earlier this year by Tim Madigan for Smithsonianmagazine, a similar series of events took place in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, which was known locally as “Black Wall Street,” in June 1921.
  9. Madigan pointed out that the slaughter was far from an isolated incident: “In the years preceding up to 1921, white mobs murdered African Americans on hundreds of instances in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Duluth, Charleston, and other places,” according to the article.

In addition, Foner explains that “he’s presenting you the variety of options,” including “what freedom may actually entail, or are the constraints on freedom coming after slavery?” “It’s about. the legacy of slavery, and the way slavery has twisted the entire civilization,” says Foner of the film.

How doesThe Underground Railroadreflect the lived experience of slavery?

“How can I construct a psychologically plausible plantation?” Whitehead is said to have pondered himself while writing on the novel. According to theGuardian, the author decided to think about “people who have been tortured, brutalized, and dehumanized their whole lives” rather than depicting “a pop culture plantation where there’s one Uncle Tom and everyone is just incredibly nice to each other.” For the remainder of Whitehead’s statement, “Everyone will be battling for the one additional mouthful of food in the morning, fighting for the tiniest piece of property.” According to me, this makes sense: “If you put individuals together who have been raped and tortured, this is how they would behave.” Despite the fact that she was abandoned as a child by her mother, who appears to be the only enslaved person to successfully escape Ridgeway’s clutches, Cora lives in the Hob, a derelict building reserved for outcasts—”those who had been crippled by the overseers’ punishments,.

who had been broken by the labor in ways you could see and in ways you couldn’t see, who had lost their wits,” as Whitehead describes Cora is played by Mbedu (center).

With permission from Amazon Studios’ Atsushi Nishijima While attending a rare birthday party for an older enslaved man, Cora comes to the aid of an orphaned youngster who mistakenly spills some wine down the sleeve of their captor, prompting him to flee.

Cora agrees to accompany Caesar on his journey to freedom a few weeks later, having been driven beyond the threshold of endurance by her punishment and the bleakness of her ongoing life as a slave.

As a result, those who managed to flee faced the potential of severe punishment, he continues, “making it a perilous and risky option that individuals must choose with care.” By making Cora the central character of his novel, Whitehead addresses themes that especially plagued enslaved women, such as the fear of rape and the agony of carrying a child just to have the infant sold into captivity elsewhere.

The account of Cora’s sexual assault in the novel is heartbreakingly concise, with the words “The Hob ladies stitched her up” serving as the final word.

Although not every enslaved women was sexually assaulted or harassed, they were continuously under fear of being raped, mistreated, or harassed, according to the report.

With permission from Amazon Studios’ Atsushi Nishijima The novelist’s account of the Underground Railroad, according to Sinha, “gets to the core of how this venture was both tremendously courageous and terribly perilous.” She believes that conductors and runaways “may be deceived at any time, in situations that they had little control over.” Cora, on the other hand, succinctly captures the liminal state of escapees.

“What a world it is.

“Was she free of bondage or still caught in its web?” “Being free had nothing to do with shackles or how much room you had,” Cora says.

The location seemed enormous despite its diminutive size.

In his words, “If you have to talk about the penalty, I’d prefer to see it off-screen.” “It’s possible that I’ve been reading this for far too long, and as a result, I’m deeply wounded by it.

view of it is that it feels a little bit superfluous to me.

In his own words, “I recognized that my job was going to be coupling the brutality with its psychological effects—not shying away from the visual representation of these things, but focusing on what it meant to the people.” “Can you tell me how they’re fighting back?

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