The Underground Railroad is a historical fiction novel by American author Colson Whitehead, published by Doubleday in 2016.
The Underground Railroad (novel)
|Publication date||August 2, 2016|
What made the Underground Railroad so successful?
- The Underground Railroad was established to aid enslaved people in their escape to freedom. The railroad was comprised of dozens of secret routes and safe houses originating in the slaveholding states and extending all the way to the Canadian border, the only area where fugitives could be assured of their freedom.
Who is the author of Underground Railroad?
/: Who is the author of Underground Railroad? What type of book is the Underground Railroad? /: What type of book is the Underground Railroad? What should I read after the Underground Railroad? Readalikes for The Underground Railroad
- The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr. The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.
- Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters.
- The Water Dancer by Ta’nehisi Coates. The Water Dancer by Ta’nehisi Coates.
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
- Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.
How many pages is the underground railroad book?
Whitehead lives in Manhattan and also owns a home in Sag Harbor on Long Island. His wife, Julie Barer, is a literary agent and they have two children.
Is the book The Underground Railroad a true story?
Adapted from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-award-winning novel, The Underground Railroad is based on harrowing true events. The ten-parter tells the story of escaped slave, Cora, who grew up on The Randall plantation in Georgia.
Did Colson Whitehead win the Pulitzer Prize for the Underground Railroad?
Potential fixes for COVID-related GI issues But unlike the other three, Whitehead’s wins are consecutive efforts, his last book, “The Underground Railroad,” having garnered a Pulitzer in 2017.
Does the Underground Railroad still exist?
It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.
Is the Underground Railroad a good book?
The novel received positive reviews from critics. Reviewers praised it for its commentary on the past and present of the United States. In 2019, The Underground Railroad was ranked 30th on The Guardian’s list of the 100 best books of the 21st century.
What happened to Cesar in the Underground Railroad?
While the show doesn’t show us what happens after their encounter, Caesar comes to Cora in a dream later, confirming to viewers that he was killed. In the novel, Caesar faces a similar fate of being killed following his capture, though instead of Ridgeway and Homer, he is killed by an angry mob.
What happened to Lovey in the Underground Railroad?
She secretly decides to join Cora and Caesar’s escape mission but she is captured early in the journey by hog hunters who return her to Randall, where she is killed by being impaled by a metal spike, her body left on display to discourage others who think of trying to escape.
How much does the Underground Railroad Cost?
There are no fees to visit Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, but some partner sites may charge fees.
Amazon.com: The Underground Railroad (Pulitzer Prize Winner) (National Book Award Winner) (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel: 9780385542364: Whitehead, Colson: Books
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and National Book Award-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, the #1 New York Timesbestseller, is a breathtaking tour de force charting a young slave’s exploits as she makes a desperate attempt for freedom in the antebellum South. Now there’s an original Amazon Prime Video series directed by Barry Jenkins, which is available now. Cora is a slave who works on a cotton farm in Georgia as a domestic servant. Cora’s life is a living nightmare for all of the slaves, but it is particularly difficult for her since she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans, and she is about to become womanhood, which will bring her much more suffering.
Things do not turn out as planned, and Cora ends up killing a young white child who attempts to apprehend her.
The Underground Railroad, according to Whitehead’s clever vision, is more than a metaphor: engineers and conductors manage a hidden network of rails and tunnels beneath the soil of the American South.
However, underneath the city’s calm appearance lies a sinister conspiracy created specifically for the city’s black residents.
As a result, Cora is forced to escape once more, this time state by state, in search of genuine freedom and a better life.
During the course of his tale, Whitehead skillfully re-creates the specific terrors experienced by black people in the pre–Civil War era, while smoothly weaving the saga of America from the cruel immigration of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the contemporary day.
Look for Colson Whitehead’s best-selling new novel, Harlem Shuffle, on the shelves!
The Underground Railroad (book) – Wikipedia
The Underground Railroad Recordsis a book written by William Still, who is often regarded as the “Father of the Underground Railroad.” It was published in 1872. It has the following subtitles: It is a collection of facts, authentic narratives, letters, etc., narrating the hardships, hair-breadth escapes, and death struggles of slaves in their efforts for freedom, as related by themselves and others, or witnessed by the author; it also includes sketches of some of the largest stockholders, and most generous aiders and advisers, of the road.
The book tells the stories and details the strategies used by 649 slaves who managed to escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad.
The Underground Railroad Records, which he had meticulously prepared and comprehensive paperwork regarding people he had assisted in escaping, were still in the process of being assembled.
Selection of freemen whose narratives are included
- Ellen and William Craft, John Dunjee, Jane Johnson, and Sheridan Ford are among those who have contributed to this work.
- There are several sources for William Still, including the Underground Railroad Foundation, Spartacus Educational: William Still, and the New York Times: William Still. There is also a public domain audiobook version of The Underground Railroad available atLibriVox, and a public domain video book version of The Underground Railroad at the Internet Archive.
Jonathan is the author of this piece. Daniel Wells is a writer who lives in New York City. The Kidnapping Club is a dramatic and poignant portrayal of the connections between the system of enslavement and capitalism, the corrupt underpinnings of American policing, and the unwavering resilience of African-American resistance. “The Illicit Slave Trade in New York City” by Dr. Wells is a riveting account of the influential men who managed to keep the illegal slave trade going in New York City long after slavery had been prohibited in the rest of the United States.
South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and to the road to the Civil War
Alice L. Baumgartner is the author of this piece. Many enslaved African-Americans in the United States looked forward to finding freedom via the Underground Railroad to the North before the Civil War. thousands of individuals in the south-central United States were able to flee captivity not by traveling north, but by crossing the southern border into Mexico, where the institution of slavery was abolished in 1837, as opposed to moving north. South to Freedom, by historian Alice L. Baumgartner, covers the narrative of why Mexico abolished the system of slavery and how the country’s increasingly extreme antislavery measures fostered the sectional crises in the United States throughout the nineteenth century.
Subversives: Anti-Slavery Community in Washington, DC 1828-1865
Stanley Harrold is the author of this piece. Many researchers have investigated the slavery debates that took place in the halls of Congress; Subversives, however, is the first history of real abolitionism on the streets, in people’s homes, and in places of commerce in the nation’s capital. Using primary sources, historian Stanley Harrold explains how African Americans – both free and enslaved – together with white supporters waged a hazardous day-to-day fight to drive the unique institution out of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding Chesapeake region.
The Fugitive Blacksmith Or, Events in the History of James W. C. Pennington, Pastor of a Presbyterian Church, New York, Formerly a Slave in the State of Maryland, United States
J.W.C. Pennington is the author. Pennington’s life is depicted as a growth, both physically and spiritually, according to his story. After discussing both revolutions, from slavery to freedom and from ignorance to knowledge, he rejects the chattels idea and emphasizes how important it is to educate one’s self.
Incidents In the Life of a Slave Girl
Harriet Jacobs is the author. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is a genuine account of one woman’s battle for self-identity, self-preservation, and independence during the American Civil War. It is one of the few remaining slave narratives written by a woman. Using her own words, Harriet Jacobs (1813–1897) recounts her incredible journey from a life of servitude and humiliation in North Carolina to freedom and reunification with her children in the North, which was chronicled in this autobiographical narrative.
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Richard Rothstein is the author of this piece. A leading authority on housing policy, Richard Rothstein debunks the myth that America’s cities became segregated based on de facto segregation—that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions such as banks and real estate agencies—in this ground-breaking history of the modern American metropolis.
It is indisputable that de jure segregation—the laws and policy choices established by local, state, and federal governments—was the driving force behind the discriminatory practices that persist to this day, as documented in The Color of Law.
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II
Douglas A. Blackmon is the author of this work. Written in the style of a novel, Slavery by Another Name unearths the forgotten experiences of slaves and their descendants who were released following the Emancipation Proclamation only to be dragged back into the shadow of involuntary servitude a generation or more later. It also tells the stories of those who tried but failed to stop the resurgence of human labor trafficking, the modern corporations that made the most money from neoslavery, and the system’s final demise in the 1940s, which was partly due to fears of enemy propaganda about American racial abuse at the start of World War II.
Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America’s First Civil Rights Movement
Fergus Bordewich is the author of this piece. As told by David Ruggles, who founded the black underground in New York City; courageous Quakers like Isaac Hopper and Levi Coffin who risked their lives to build the Underground Railroad; and the legendary Harriet Tubman, Bound for Canaante is a must-read for history buffs. Bound for Canaan, a novel that weaves riveting human tales with the politics of slavery and abolition, reveals how the Underground Railroad gave birth to our country’s first racially integrated, spiritually motivated social reform movement.
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.
- 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.
- ” 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.
- When it comes to portraying slavery, Jenkins takes a similar approach to Whitehead’s in the series’ source material.
- “And as a result, I believe their individuality has been preserved,” Jenkins says Felix.
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. (There will be spoilers for the novel ahead.)
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.
- “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.
- 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.
- In this image from the mid-20th century, a Tuskegee patient is getting his blood taken.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
History of the United States Based on a true story, this film Books Fiction about the American Civil War Racism SlaveryTelevision Videos That Should Be Watched
16 Children’s Books About the Underground Railroad
“There are no trains in this narrative!” says the narrator. I brought home a stack of books about the Underground Railroad and this was my youngest son’s reaction when he saw them. The fact that this railroad had no trains or tracks, however, was swiftly discovered by my lads, who rapidly realized that it may have been the most significant and powerful railroad our nation had ever seen. You might also be interested in these books about the Civil Rights Movement! This collection of novels will assist both younger and older readers in comprehending the harshness of slavery as well as the costly price of freedom for those who attempt to flee from their oppressors.
I hope you may learn something new and be inspired by what you read here.
16 Books About the Underground Railroad
Using the biography of an American hero as inspiration, Adler has written yet another outstanding picture book. This book chronicles Harriet Tubman from her upbringing as a slave in Maryland to her emancipation via the Underground Railroad, and then to her return to the South to aid in the emancipation of other African-Americans. It also depicts her life during and after the Civil War, during which she continued to serve others and fight for justice for the rights of women. My recommendation for readers ages 5 and above is to read any of Adler’s biographies.
Follow the Drinking Gourdby Bernadine Connelly
This novel, which is inspired on the popular American folk song of the same name, tells the story of one family’s escape from slavery through the Underground Railroad system. It demonstrates how individuals fleeing to freedom would rely on natural cues such as stars to navigate their way to the northern reaches of the continent. This book is appropriate for children aged 5 and up. This story is also available on DVD, with Morgan Freeman providing the narration.
Henry’s Freedom Boxby Ellen Levine
Beginning when he was taken away from his family at an early age and continuing into adulthood, when his wife and children are sold to another slave master, Henry has always dreamt of being free. When it comes to becoming free, Henry comes up with an innovative solution: he will mail himself to the North! His arduous voyage in a shipping container is ultimately worth it since he receives a prize. Based on a true story, I recommend that children between the ages of 4 and 8 read this book aloud.
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quiltby Deborah Hopkinson
In the midst of her enslavement and sewn-up existence, a young lady named Clara dreams of achieving freedom, both for herself and for her family. Sometime later, she overhears two other slaves discussing something known as the Underground Railroad, and she understands that she may use her abilities as a seamstress to assist others in their journeys toward freedom.
It is her dream to create a quilt from scraps of cloth, which can also serve as a map to help her find her way to freedom in the North, thanks to the Underground Railroad. Sharing this book with youngsters aged three and up is highly recommended.
Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroadby Henry Cole
It is just the hauntingly beautiful drawings that convey the seriousness of the historical period in this frightening picture book; there are no words. When a little girl discovers a runaway slave hiding in her barn, she is forced to make a difficult decision about her future. Is she able to raise the alarm about this unexpected visitor lurking in the shadows? Do you think she’ll go with the flow and follow her heart and compassion? This is a really emotional novel, however smaller children may want assistance in understanding what is occurring in the plot.
Barefoot: Escape on the Underground Railroadby Pamela Duncan Edwards
A Barefoot (escaped slave) must go through the woods at night in order to avoid being discovered by the Heavy Boots who are on the lookout for them. The Barefoot must pay heed to the clues that the forest is sending him, and the animals appear to be able to assist him in his quest for direction. Throughout his journey, readers will follow him as he hides in the forest and the swamp, until arriving at his final destination. This engaging picture book offers a really unique point of view, and I recommend it for children aged 5 and older because of its distinct perspective.
Almost to Freedomby Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Lindy is infatuated with her doll Sally, and the two of them do everything together. Sally always follows Lindy everywhere she goes. Sally even joins Lindy and her family as they boldly flee slavery on the Underground Railroad. Lindy and her family are accompanied by Sally. Sally, on the other hand, gets abandoned along the route. She is depressed until she understands that she may be a source of comfort to another little girl on her journey to independence. With a narrative written from the perspective of Sally the doll, this story is a wonderful choice for reading aloud with children ages 5 and up.
The Birdmanby Troon Harrison
Alexander Ross was best known as an ornithologist, which is a scientific term that refers to someone who studies birds. However, after reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ross discovered a new passion: assisting enslaved people in their quest for freedom. His extensive understanding of nature also assisted him in determining the most effective means of escaping for enslaved persons fleeing to Canada from the United States. Ross believed that if birds were allowed to fly wherever they pleased, then all humans should be given the same opportunity.
Beautifully illustrated, this picture book offers an enthralling glimpse into the life of a little-known hero, and it is appropriate for children aged 5 and above.
Blacksmith’s Songby Elizabeth Van Steenwyk
In his role as a blacksmith, a small child observes his father pounding hot metal into shape, and he realizes that his father is doing much more than simply producing tools. The rhythm that his father pounds out on his anvil may be that of a slave, but the message that it sends out to those seeking freedom through the Underground Railroad is not.
When Pa falls ill, the little son will be called upon to stand up to the anvil and take over the vital task. Suitable for children aged 6 and older, this picture book is a great introduction to the alphabet.
Before She Was Harrietby Lesa Cline-Ransome
Harriet Tubman is a historical figure whose full tale is unknown to those who only know her as such. She was more than just a formerly enslaved person. She was a spy, a suffragette, a general, a nurse, and a lot more things than that. This wonderful picture book goes into the numerous roles she played and the many aliases she went by during her long and illustrious life. I recommend that readers between the ages of 6 and 12 read this unusual biography.
Chapter Books and Early Readers
As Emma pays a visit to the Anacostia Museum for African American History, she finds herself transported back in time and forced to go via the Underground Railroad to freedom. Will she be able to make it out of slavery without being apprehended by the authorities? This early reader is jam-packed with information, and it is ideal for children who are reading at or above the second grade level.
What Was the Underground Railroad?by Yona Zeldis McDonough
This is the second time that theWhoHQseries has published a fantastic non-fiction book about a vital issue. This book contains intriguing data, a plethora of images, maps, and biographies of people who took part in the expedition. An insert with images from the historical period is included so that children may see how slavery affected actual individuals who lived real lives and establish the link between the two. This gripping chapter book is best suited for children ages 8 and older because of its complexity.
Eliza’s Freedom Road: An Underground Railroad Diaryby Jerdine Nolen
In the aftermath of Eliza’s mother’s sale to a new family, all Eliza has left to recall is her quilt and the stories she used to tell. When Eliza’s mistress becomes ill, she begins to hear rumors about her being sold, and she realizes that her time has come. The words of her mother and the farmhand Joe guide her down the Underground Railroad, and before long, she is being guided by a gentle woman named Harriet into slavery. If your child is reading at or above the fourth grade level, this fictitious journal of a 12-year-old house slave in Virginia is a fantastic choice for them.
Dear Austin: Letters From the Underground Railroadby Elvira Woodruff
Levi has formed a friendship with a young child named Jupiter, who happens to be the son of a former slave. They have a lot of fun together, playing and enjoying the Pennsylvania countryside. When Jupiter’s sister is abducted by a slave trader, Levi and Jupiter come up with a scheme to free her from being sold into slavery. Naive Levi immediately learns how dire the position of the slaves is, and he communicates his observations to his brother, Austin, through letters sent to and from the slaves.
Stealing Freedomby Elisa Carbone
Abolitionist Anna Maria Weems was born into slavery, and that is the only way she has ever known existence. Her family is her one source of happiness in life; being able to spend time with them is what makes life tolerable for her. Although being a slave frequently meant being apart from family, Anna eventually finds herself alone and without the people she cared about. She is consumed by sadness and performs the only move that appears to make sense: she flees the scene.
As a guy, Anna sets out to discover independence as well as her family, which she believes she can’t find otherwise. This novel is based on a true tale, and it is recommended for readers aged 11 and above.
Bradyby Jean Fritz
Even though Brady is well-known for having a loud mouth, he’s never had to keep a secret quite like this before — the secret of an Underground Railroad stop close to his family’s house. Brady is presented with a difficult decision: should he reveal what he knows, or should he assist and protect slaves who are attempting to flee for their lives? This book is best suited for children who are reading at or above the third grade level.
If you enjoyed this list, you’ll love our newsletter! Sign up below:
There have been a number of authors who have made the Underground Railroad the central theme of their literary works. Some of the books depict it in a more realistic manner than others. It is often believed that this system operates under a number of misconceptions. For example, the Underground Railroad was not a railroad in the traditional sense. During the early to mid-19th century, it was a network of secret passageways and “safe homes” that was largely constructed in the northern portion of the United States and Canada, particularly in the northern region of the United States and Canada.
- Abolitionists and friends who were sympathetic to their cause assisted fugitive slaves in their quest for freedom, which was made possible through the Underground Railroad.
- If you ever find yourself in Philadelphia, you should pay a visit to the Johnson House, which has remained virtually unchanged since its construction in 1768.
- Harriet Tubman, despite her little stature, paid a visit to the place.
- ‘It was a network that crossed over countries, faiths, and ethnicities,’ according to Christopher Densmore of the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, who put it so well.
- Perhaps one of these publications, which depict areas, faiths, ethnicities, and sites associated with the Underground Railroad, will pique your interest and motivate you to go.
Fiction Books set around the Underground Railroad
The Redfield siblings are driven by a Quaker belief as firm as Pennsylvania limestone that slavery is an evil and must be opposed by any means necessary. They lie, sneak, disguise, and defy their way past would-be enforcement of the dreaded Fugitive Slave Law. When Jesse returns from a fugitive’s run with a severe fever, joined by another runaway, Josiah, who is similarly sick and on the verge of death, Ann takes care of them both until they recover.
However, valuable time has been lost, and Josiah, who is too ill to travel over the winter, remains at Redfield Farm, where Ann serves as his teacher, companion, and confidante.
2.The Underground Railroadby Colson Whitehead
This1New York Timesbestseller, which was nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, tells the story of a young slave’s exploits as she makes a desperate effort for freedom. Cora is a slave who works on a cotton farm in Georgia as a domestic servant. Following a conversation with Caesar, a recent immigrant from Virginia, about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a scary risk and go to freedom. During the course of his tale, Whitehead skillfully re-creates the specific terrors experienced by black people in the pre–Civil War era, while smoothly weaving the saga of America from the cruel immigration of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the contemporary day.
Visiting the Johnson House in Philadelphia was inspired by the Underground Railroad, which I learned about during my recent visit.
3.The Mapmaker’s Childrenby Sarah McCoy
Following the realization that her artistic abilities may be able to aid in the preservation of the lives of slaves fleeing north, Sarah Brown, the daughter of abolitionist John Brown, develops into one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking inspiration from slave code quilts and concealing her maps within her paintings. Upon moving into an old house in the suburbs, Eden discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar, which turns out to be the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past filled with secret messages, danger, and deliverance.
4.Indigoby Beverly Jenkins
In her childhood, Hester Wyatt managed to flee slavery, and today the dark-skinned beauty is a committed member of Michigan’s Underground Railroad, giving other runaways the opportunity to experience the freedom she has come to cherish. She does not hesitate when one of her fellow conductors gives her an injured man to conceal, even after she is informed that he is being hunted down for a large sum of money. The guy in question is the renowned conductor known as the “Black Daniel,” who is a critical part of the Underground Railroad network in the northern United States.
Galen is a member of one of the wealthiest free Black families in New Orleans, but he has chosen to forego the luxury lifestyle he has been accustomed to in order to bring freedom to those who are enslaved in the southern United States.
5.The Last Runawayby Tracy Chevalier
With her humble English upbringing, Honor Bright goes to Ohio in 1850–only to discover that she is alone and alone in a foreign country. She is sick from the minute she leaves England, and she is avoiding personal disappointment, but she is forced to rely on strangers in a harsh, unknown country as her family suffers a tragedy. As Honor becomes entangled in the covert operations of the Underground Railroad, a network dedicated to assisting escaped slaves in their journey to freedom, she meets and befriends two amazing women who symbolize the remarkable force of resistance in their lives.
Eventually, she will have to decide if she, too, is willing to stand up for what she believes in, no matter what the personal consequences are.
Nonfiction books featuring the Underground Railroad
An organization known as the General Vigilance Committee was created in the winter of 1852 by a group of Philadelphia abolitionists who were determined to aiding escaped slaves on their journey to freedom. The General Vigilance Committee became a component of the Underground Railroad in 1853. William Still, a son of slaves himself, was appointed as the organization’s secretary and executive director. Still was deeply touched by the stories of the fleeing slaves he assisted in transporting northward, and he raised the standard of record-keeping in his committee.
2.Never Caughtby Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve
The authors provide an intimate glimpse into the life of a little-known, but powerful figure in history, as well as her brave journey as she fled the most powerful couple in the country.Born into a life of slavery, Ona Judge eventually grew up to be George and Martha Washington’s “favored” dower slave, and she eventually fled to New Hampshire with the help of her husband, George Washington. As soon as she was informed that she was to be delivered as a wedding gift to Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Ona made the daring and courageous choice to travel to the northern United States, where she would be considered a fugitive.
3.Twelve Years a Slaveby Solomon Northup
Solomon Northup, the son of a liberated slave, spent the first thirty years of his life as a free man in the mountains of upstate New York. In the spring of 1841, he was given a job as a violinist in a touring circus, which turned out to be a short-term but successful employment. It had been set up as a trap. Northup was drugged, abducted, and sold into slavery while visiting Washington, DC. He spent the next twelve years on plantations in Louisiana, where he endured backbreaking work, unspeakable abuse, and horrible treatment at the hands of ruthless owners, until a generous stranger came to his aid and helped him earn his freedom from captivity.
Colson Whitehead: ‘To deal with this subject with the gravity it deserved was scary’
In upstate New York, Solomon Northup, the son of a freed slave, spent the first thirty years of his life as a free man. When he returned to New York in the spring of 1841, he was given a position as a violinist in a touring circus, a short-term but profitable employment. A snare had been set for them. Northup was drugged, abducted, and sold into slavery in Washington, D.C., where he had been living. In the following twelve years, he worked on plantations in Louisiana, where he endured backbreaking labor, unthinkable abuse, and horrible treatment at the hands of ruthless owners, until a compassionate stranger assisted him in securing his freedom.
A stunning and vivid portrayal of America’s most pernicious historical institution as described by a man who lived through it personally, his narrative of those years is a must-read for anybody interested in history.