Sam is a station agent who owns a saloon in South Carolina. He helps to arrange Cora and Caesar’s new identities and placement in the dormitories.
Where were the stations on the Underground Railroad?
These were called “stations,” “safe houses,” and “depots.” The people operating them were called “stationmasters.” There were many well-used routes stretching west through Ohio to Indiana and Iowa. Others headed north through Pennsylvania and into New England or through Detroit on their way to Canada.
How far apart were the stations of the Underground Railroad?
Slaves would often travel by foot at night. They would sneak from one station to the next, hoping not to get caught. Stations were usually around 10 to 20 miles apart. Sometimes they would have to wait at one station for a while until they knew the next station was safe and ready for them.
Were there tunnels in the Underground Railroad?
Contrary to popular belief, the Underground Railroad was not a series of underground tunnels. While some people did have secret rooms in their houses or carriages, the vast majority of the Underground Railroad involved people secretly helping people running away from slavery however they could.
Was Ohio part of the Underground Railroad?
Although there were Underground Railroad networks throughout the country, even in the South, Ohio had the most active network of any other state with around 3000 miles of routes used by escaping runaways. First Ohio was bordered by 2 slave states: Virginia and Kentucky.
What routes did the Underground Railroad follow?
Underground Railroad routes went north to free states and Canada, to the Caribbean, into United States western territories, and Indian territories. Some freedom seekers (escaped slaves) travelled South into Mexico for their freedom.
How long did the Underground Railroad take to travel?
The journey would take him 800 miles and six weeks, on a route winding through Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York, tracing the byways that fugitive slaves took to Canada and freedom.
What years did the Underground Railroad exist?
system used by abolitionists between 1800-1865 to help enslaved African Americans escape to free states.
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.
How quilts were used in the Underground Railroad?
The seamstress would hang the quilts in full view one at a time, allowing the slaves to reinforce their memory of the pattern and its associated meaning. When slaves made their escape, they used their memory of the quilts as a mnemonic device to guide them safely along their journey, according to McDaniel.
What state ended slavery first?
In 1780, Pennsylvania became the first state to abolish slavery when it adopted a statute that provided for the freedom of every slave born after its enactment (once that individual reached the age of majority). Massachusetts was the first to abolish slavery outright, doing so by judicial decree in 1783.
Did Ohio ever have slavery?
Although slavery was illegal in Ohio, a number of people still opposed the ending of slavery. Many of these people also were opposed to the Underground Railroad. Some people attacked conductors on the Underground Railroad or returned fugitives from slavery to their owners in hopes of collecting rewards.
Why did slaves go to the Ohio River?
For many enslaved people the Ohio River was more than a body of water. Crossing it was a huge step on the path to freedom. Serving as natural border between free and slave states, individuals opposed to slavery set up a network of safe houses to assist escaped slaves seeking freedom.
Was the Underground Railroad illegal?
The Underground Railroad was a secret system developed to aid fugitive slaves on their escape to freedom. Involvement with the Underground Railroad was not only dangerous, but it was also illegal. So, to help protect themselves and their mission secret codes were created.
On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad : Coles’s On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis
North Carolina is a state in the United States. Summary Despite her best efforts, Cora is unable to tell how long she will be confined beneath Sam’s house in the darkness. While she waits, she is concerned for Caesar’s well-being and wishes that the two of them had left South Carolina as soon as they got the opportunity. Finally, a train approaches, but it passes by Cora without stopping. Cora chases after it, shrieking, and it eventually comes to a halt. Despite the fact that this stop was not on his schedule (he was just meant to be inspecting the railroad lines, not picking up freight), the young engineer allows her to board the train.
Cora is concerned that the station may have collapsed in, and she believes that she may be stuck beneath once more.
Martin is quite concerned about her presence and believes she should not be there.
He pulls over to show her a horrible path of dead black bodies known as the “Freedom Trail” as they’re on their way.
- In a little corner above the attic, they keep Cora hidden, warning her that if anybody overhears her, including their maid, Fiona, they would be reported and killed as a result.
- A festival in the park is held in her honor a few days after she arrives in town.
- Cora will be staying with the Wellses for a few months.
- Fearing that a large black population will put them at risk of a slave insurrection, the people of North Carolina are now attempting to remove the black population and replace it with white immigrant labor.
- When Cora and Martin are having a conversation, Martin reveals how he got to be part in the underground railroad.
- Martin discovered his father’s diary inside the underground railroad station, where he discovered that Donald had been an avid abolitionist and had created the sole underground railroad station in North Carolina.
- Cora falls ill when a series of “bad omens” occur, including accidently tipping over a chamber pot, almost being discovered by a gang of “night riders” looking for fugitive slaves, and witnessing a white family be murdered for concealing two black boys.
Ethel begins to warm up to Cora and spends hours with her, reading aloud to her from the Bible.
Cora is still in bed downstairs.
Fiona emerges from the crowd and declares that she was aware that they were concealing someone and that the award is hers.
Despite the fact that the mob wishes to put Cora to death, Ridgeway enters and asserts that he has the legal authority to send her to Georgia.
Analysis Because of this, the story is intentionally unclear concerning the operation of the subterranean railroad system.
The real and figurative Underground Railroad, on the other hand, was characterized by this type of muddle and terrible compromise.
As historical events collide with the novel’s metaphoric structure, the fault lines within the comparison serve to draw attention to the intricacies of the fleeing slave situation.
This notion is incorrect.
They are reluctant players, pulled into the fray against their choice and more concerned with their own survival than with the well-being of their fellow citizens.
They don’t have the courage to hand Cora up to the authorities.
In his description of his and his wife’s participation in the underground railroad to Cora, Martin expresses the belief that they and their children are at the mercy of fate.
“Do you feel like you’re a slave?” she inquires.
While both Cora and the Wellses are forced to accept their fates as a result of circumstance, they do so without the ability to change the environment that forces them to make hard choices.
During her escape from Georgia, Cora was confronted with a number of difficult decisions, one of which was killing the white youngster.
She is aware, however, that her acts have elevated her to the status of “one of the angry monsters” that the people of North Carolina are so afraid of.
And, despite the fact that Cora is considerably more than a spiteful monster, she doesn’t back down from the charge.
“One day, the system would come crashing down in a pool of blood.” Racism has established a system in which violence is both the input and the unavoidable outcome, and this system is based on racism.
Cora’s disagreements with Ethel concerning the Bible add another another layer of complexity to this chapter’s discussion of ethics and values.
The slave overseer Connelly on the Randall farm, who Cora recalls reciting (misquoted) Bible passages while beating the slaves, is another fond memory of Cora.
In fact, many abolitionists, like Mr.
Fletcher, are opposed to slavery because of their Christian convictions, which is a common theme among them. “Follow the Bible,” like every other ethical system Cora discovers, turns out to be a muddled ethical aim that might lead to a variety of diverse responses.
The Underground Railroad Chapter 4: South Carolina Summary and Analysis
The fourth chapter opens with the narrative of Bessie, who looks after the Andersons’ children and cleans the house for them on the weekends. On Friday, Bessie takes the children to the park, goes grocery shopping for dinner, and says farewell to the family for the weekend when Ms. Anderson returns home. She travels through the bustling Main Street on her way to her dorms, paying particular attention to the majestic Griffin Building, which she finds very striking. Located in downtown Atlanta, the Griffin Building is the highest structure in the South and one of the tallest structures in the country.
- Bessie has been inside the building because Mr.
- As Bessie walks by the Griffin Building, she focuses on the transformation in her life: from slave to free woman, she has come a long way.
- She arrives at the dormitory, which is a new structure constructed of red brick and white paint that is only a few minutes before Bessie’s arrival.
- Bessie informs Miss Lucy that she will be staying in the dormitory that night, despite the fact that some of the other girls were planning to go out to the bar.
- Cora and Caesarereturn to their new lives as Bessie Carpenter and Christian Markson at the end of the chapter, which takes place at the point where they first arrived on the Underground Railroad.
- When they have had a chance to recover from their travels, Sam informs them about the culture and civilization of South Carolina.
- In order to obtain employment, Cora and Caesar must stroll across the town to the Placement Office, where they muse over the news of this foreign culture and wonder at their newfound freedom.
South Carolina offers a plethora of fresh opportunities.
There, the instructor, Miss Handler, tells them that education was a privilege that they did not have in other slave states and that learning took time.
Cora realizes that she has harbored resentment toward her mother since Mabel abandoned her when she was a little child as a result of this.
Cora visits Dr.
In the end, he draws blood from her arm after seeing the whipping scars and repercussions of the sexual assault that she has suffered.
Her one significant purchase is a blue dress, which she chooses to wear to a social event one evening.
During their conversation, the two men debate the prospect of boarding the next train on the Underground Railroad to escape South Carolina.
They resolve to cling to the safety of their lives in South Carolina while taking in the music and dancing for the remainder of the night, as long as they can.
A young lady in hysteria draws a large audience as she shouts that her infants are being taken away from her by authorities.
On Monday morning, at their meeting, Miss Lucy offers Cora a new employment placement at the Museum of Natural Wonders, which she accepts.
After arriving at the museum, she is introduced to Mr.
Cora appears in three shows alongside two other young women: “Scenes from Darkest Africa,” “Life on the Slave Ship,” and “Typical Day on the Plantation,” in which she portrays a plantation slave in the traditional role of a plantation slave.
In order for the town to flourish, it is building a new hospital for the government doctor, as well as exhibiting at other exhibitions throughout the country.
Stevens, a new doctor from Boston, who is working at the hospital.
On her way home, she stops by the Anderson children’s home to say farewell in person, but the new girl who works there sends her away without letting her in to say her properly.
Fields offers Cora and the other two museum employees a tour of the displays, which they thoroughly enjoy.
So much has been plundered by white folks.
Stevens’ procedures now have the potential to take their children’s futures, if they are successful.
The Griffin Building’s roof is her final destination before she returns home, and Cora takes advantage of the opportunity to contemplate while she is there.
Walking to Sam’s after nightfall is considered safe.
They decline, but Sam suggests that they may reconsider after hearing his side of the story.
This is only one of many experiments, Betram said to Sam, and the purpose of these experiments, as well as the goal of the forced sterilization program, is to maintain control over the black population in the United States.
They are unable to find a solution.
Cora begins giving the evil eye to one visitor every day at her museum employment, engaging a victim of her choosing in a staring contest until they withdraw their gaze.
One of the Anderson children, Maisie, pays a visit to the museum the day after she hears of the town’s nefarious plots.
Cora pays a visit to Miss Lucy later that evening.
They have been permanently relocated, according to Miss Lucy.
On her way out, she overhears another proctor request Miss Lucy’s records from another proctor.
Cora rushes to the men’s housing to inform Caesar of the situation, but he is still at work.
It is confirmed by him that the slave hunters, under the leadership of Ridgeway, have arrived in town and are on the prowl for Cora and Caesar.
He returns to the saloon without Caesar, informing her that a slave catcher had entered the tavern shortly after she had gone and had collected a posse.
She goes underground with some food and a light, where she waits till she falls asleep while meditating a prayer. She awakens to the sound of a mob robbing and looting her home before lighting it ablaze in the process.
The tone of Chapter 4 opens with a sense of calm and tranquillity. Cora, who is posing as Bessie, caters to the children for whom she nannies and then wanders freely back to her dormitory, pausing to take in the hustle and bustle of a Friday afternoon on Main Street. Cora, who is posing as Bessie, is a nanny who lives in a hostel on Main Street. In contrast to the preceding chapters of the novel, these opening scenes imply that Cora has found a comfortable place to call home for the time being.
- After moving to New York City, Cora takes an elevator to visit her son’s father, who lives in the Griffin Building.
- in case of calamity.” Cora, on the other hand, does not approach her new life in South Carolina in the same way, and she will come to regret her decision.
- First and foremost, while black people in South Carolina may appear to live in freedom, their activities and ways of living are closely supervised and watched by a paternalistic state that has a strong hand in their lives.
- There is also the underlying truth that black people are still considered slaves, and that they are owned by the state of South Carolina.
- The more grim tone of the government’s more dangerous projects foreshadows the implementation of these programs.
- It will soon become apparent, however, that the state of South Carolina is forcibly sterilizing black women’s children as part of a state-run forced sterilization scheme.
- This parallelism continues to presage the violence that lurks under the surface of South Carolina’s political landscape and society.
The most egregious aspects of the South Carolina system, in the end, are the coercive birth control program for black women, as well as a medical study of black men with syphilis that operates without their consent, simply allowing them to become sicker and observing the effects of the disease on them.
- Ideas about eugenics and racially informed population control strategies led to the forced sterilization of Native American, Mexican American, and African American women, among other groups of people.
- Using this technique, viewers are reminded that The Underground Railroad is not a work of historical fiction and that it has mythical or speculative elements.
- To generate a startling impact, Whitehead placed these programs in South Carolina during the nineteenth century.
- This chapter also serves as a setting within which Cora and Caesar can negotiate the terms of their relationship’s closeness.
- The two of them meet up at the social and have a chaste discussion about their lives, but Caesar also brings flowers for Cora to give her.
Despite the fact that their time together comes to an end before anything else happens, readers and Cora are both left wondering what may have been. This foreshadows Cora’s love for Royal, which occurs later in the novel and is similarly cut short by racial violence, which occurs later in the book.
The Underground Railroad Questions and Answers
The tone of Chapter 4 opens with a sense of tranquillity and a sense of wonder. After tending to the children for whom she nannies and walking freely back to her dormitory, Cora pauses to take in the hustle and bustle of a Friday afternoon on Main Street. Cora, who is living under the alias Bessie, attends to the children for whom she nannies, and then walks freely back to her dormitory. Compared to the preceding chapters of the novel, these opening scenes indicate that Cora has found a comfortable place to call home.
- After moving to New York City, Cora uses an elevator to visit her son’s father, who lives in the Griffin Building.
- in case of calamity.” But Cora does not approach her new life in South Carolina in the same manner, and she will come to regret her decision.
- South Carolina’s paternalistic state, for starters, allows black people to live their lives as though they are free, but their activities and ways of living are meticulously supervised and watched by the government.
- The underlying truth that black people are still considered slaves, owned by the state of South Carolina, is also a factor to take into consideration.
- In an increasingly foreboding tone, the government’s most dangerous initiatives are hinted to in advance.
- Forced sterilization programs in South Carolina, however, will soon be shown to be a means by which the state government is removing the children of black women from their mothers’ care.
- This parallelism continues to presage the violence that lurks under the surface of South Carolina’s political landscape and culture.
When it comes down to it, some of the most egregious aspects of the South Carolina system are the coercive birth control program for black women and a medical study of black men with syphilis that operates without their consent, simply allowing them to become sicker and observing the effects of the disease.
- Ideas about eugenics and racially informed population control strategies led to the forced sterilization of Native American, Mexican American, and African American women, among other groups of people.
- Using this technique, readers will be reminded that The Underground Railroad is not a work of historical fiction, and that it possesses fanciful or speculative aspects.
- To generate a startling impact, Whitehead placed these initiatives in South Carolina during the nineteenth century.
- Additionally, this chapter serves as a setting within which Cora and Caesar can negotiate the terms of their relationship’s closeness.
- The two of them meet up at the social and have a chaste conversation about their lives, but Caesar also sends Cora flowers.
However, because their time together comes to an end before anything more develops, readers and Cora are left wondering what may have been. In a way, this foreshadows Cora’s later in the novel, when she falls in love with Royal, which is cut short by racial violence as well.
The Underground Railroad Recap: A Different World
Image courtesy of Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios Griffin, South Carolina, is a peculiar town with a strange population. White people and Black people both dress up and go along the same streets in nice attire. There’s a building known as a skyscraper that has an elevator and appears to reach out and touch the clouds. It appears to be vastly different from, and far more hopeful than, the area Cora and Caesar left behind in Georgia. Caesar and Cora discuss the possibility of remaining in this place indefinitely, establishing themselves and establishing roots in this new world of access and near freedom.
- But what if Cora and Caesar aren’t in a hurry to get out of the house?
- Cora and Caesar have both found new employment in South Carolina, with Caesar working in a factory and Cora working at a museum.
- However, their mattresses are in dormitories with all of the other Black inhabitants, and their occupations are overseen by white supervisors, evoking memories of the plantation.
- “Work on channeling that African spirit,” he tells her.
- Despite the fact that Cora and Caesar have no idea where the next train will take them, it’s difficult to ignore the newfound liberties they have gained.
(Cora hasn’t merely disappeared; she’s being sought for murder.) I have to constantly reminding myself of this fact since it feels so unfair that she is being treated as the “criminal” in this situation.) Because Cora has stolen the okra seeds, which he describes as “her mother’s birthright,” Ridgeway surmises that she must not know where her mother has fled: “She’s not rushing to somewhere; she’s fleeing somewhere,” he says emphatically.
- As long as I put my exposition-analysis cap on, I suppose that makes sense; but, as long as I put my fuck-Ridgeway cap on, I’m annoyed by his hubris in believing he knows so much about her thought process.
- There is just so much time left with Ridgeway on the prowl.
- “Perhaps we should remain,” Caesar suggests to Cora, who is seated aside from the rest of the guests.
- Despite his best efforts, he is unable to get the kiss.
- “They’re murdering us,” to put it another way.
His companion, Caesar, informs him that “things are occurring here.
They will have to wait for the next train because they missed the one that Sam indicated.
When Homer discovers Cora in the museum, she flees to Sam’s house, where she is escorted down to the railroad tunnel, where she meets Caesar.
In the beginning, I thought Ridgeway wouldn’t recognize Caesar, but his “very special” eyes quickly reveal him to be the man he was.
Walking down the tunnel with a lantern in hand, he promises her that he will never abandon her and recite lines from The Odyssey: “Be strong, says my heart.” I am a member of the military.
Another thing has been taken away from them.
He is also not a conductor and is only authorized to do maintenance.
Cora, filled with emotion, sobs in the back of the cart as it rolls away, alone and unsure of where she is going.
Parker collaborated on the writing of “Chapter 2: South Carolina.” The Pharcyde’s “Runnin’,” from their albumLabcabincalifornia, is the song that plays during the credits at the end of the film.
Fields fall so effortlessly into the character of a slaveholder while giving advice to a white actor at the museum is a horrifying experience.
It’s much too much.
The photo of Caesar and his two coworkers going through town with their suit coats unfastened except for the top buttons was one of my favorites as well.
“However, it was when we were dancing that I saw a vision of our future.” Cora: “Wait a minute, you’re talking about babies?” Cora: “One kiss and you’re talking about babies?” “I’ve never seen a white man to show any regard for what Negroes are psychologically capable of,” Caesar says in response to the use of the word “aptitude.” “Do you understand what aptitude is?” says the doctor.
A little more about Cora’s resentment toward her mother is revealed when she tells one of the physicians, “After my mama left, a bunch of older males started calling me names and pestering me.” “They took me into the woods one night,” says the author.
Cora borrows a book of Gulliver’s Travels from Miss Lucy in this episode, and Caesar receives a gift from Miss Lucy.
A current novel, Reading Railroad: Lakewoodby Megan Giddings, tells the story of a Black college-age girl who agrees to take part in a strange scientific investigation.
The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a system of transportation that allows people to flee their homes. Recap: It’s a Whole Other World
The Little-Known Underground Railroad That Ran South to Mexico
The Underground Railroad went both north and south along the length of the city. In the eyes of enslaved people in Texas, Canada must have appeared like an impossibly distant dream. Slavery was, fortunately, prohibited in Mexico as well. According to Maria Hammack, who is doing her dissertation on this issue at the University of Texas at Austin, researchers estimate that 5,000 to 10,000 persons escaped from bondage and entered Mexico during this period. However, she believes that the true figure might be far higher.
- As a result, most individuals didn’t leave many documents.
- Hammack has also identified a Black lady and two white males who assisted enslaved people in escaping and attempting to locate them a new home in Mexico, according to the report.
- Slavery was reinstated once the Republic of Texas was established in 1836, and it remained lawful after Texas became a state of the United States in 1845.
- Hammack has tracked down a fugitive called Tom who had been enslaved by Sam Houston and freed him.
- Once Tom crossed the border, he enlisted with the Mexican military, whom Houston had fought against previously.
- A few chose to walk, while others chose to ride horses or slipped aboard ships destined for Mexican port cities.
Even if this wasn’t technically conceivable, the vision of floating to freedom on a ship that represented enslavement was powerful and compelling.
“I’ve discovered folks who have traveled from as far away as North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama,” Hammack adds.
In the same way that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 obliged free states to return escapees to the southern United States, the United States desired that Mexico return fugitive enslaved persons to the United States.
Despite this, some owners of enslaved individuals in the United States continued to pay slave catchers to unlawfully grab fugitives in Mexico.
According to Hammack, some enslaved persons may have been able to make their way to Mexico on their own.
The Runaway Slave Act enhanced federal and free-state responsibilities for the recapture of fugitive slaves by establishing federal commissioners who were empowered to issue arrest warrants for those slaves fleeing to other countries.
Matilda Hicks, the husband’s wife, was a formerly enslaved lady.
Additionally, some northern abolitionists came south to assist enslaved persons in their attempts to reach Mexico.
Quakerabolitionist Benjamin Lundy “was aggressively appealing the Mexican authorities to allow for colonies to be founded for, I guess what we would term refugees” in the early 1830s, according to a contemporary account.
A few years later, in 1852, Seminole organizations, which included fugitive enslaved people, were successful in their plea to the Mexican authorities for more territory.
“It is still in the possession of their ancestors, who continue to reside there to this day in Mexico,” Hammack explains. Those who fled slavery through the “underground railroad” in the southern United States, as well as other refugees, profited from Mexico’s readiness to provide a safe haven.
‘The Underground Railroad’ Episode 10 Recap: Into the West
As well as running north and south, the Underground Railroad was a popular tourist attraction. Refuge in Canada may have looked like an impossibly distant dream for enslaved people in Texas. Fortunately, slavery was not only prohibited in Mexico but also prohibited in the United States. Maria Hammack, who is doing her doctorate on this issue at the University of Texas at Austin, estimates that 5,000 to 10,000 persons fled from bondage into Mexico during this time period. In reality, though, she believes that the true figure might be far more.
- As a result, most individuals didn’t leave behind many documents.
- Hammack has also identified a Black lady and two white males who assisted enslaved laborers in escaping and attempting to locate them a new home in Mexico, according to his findings.
- Photograph by F.
- In 1829, when Texas was still a part of the country, Mexico abolished slavery, leading white, slave-holding immigrants to fight for Texas’ independence during the Texas Revolution.
- It was known to the enslaved people of Texas that there was a land to the south where they might obtain various degrees of freedom (though indentured debt servitude existed in Mexico, it was not the same as chattel slavery).
- A former soldier in the Texas Revolution, Houston served as president of the Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1839.
- There were a variety of routes taken by fugitive enslaved persons to arrive reach Mexico.
It was common knowledge that enslaved persons had crossed the Rio Grande River, which separated Texas and Mexico, by escaping on bales of cotton, and various Texas newspapers claimed in July 1863 that three enslaved people had managed to do so.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE READ THESE STATEMENTS.
According to Hammack, “I’ve discovered people who’ve traveled from as far away as North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama.” A fugitive slave pact with Mexico was sought by the United States when slaveholders learned that enslaved persons were escaping to the country.
Mexico, on the other hand, refused to sign such a treaty, claiming that once enslaved persons stepped foot on Mexican land, they were no longer slaves.
What was known as the “underground railroad” in the South was not well organized.
Additionally, evidence reveals that tejanos, particularly the impoverished, were instrumental in assisting the escapees on their journey to Mexico.
Getty Images/Universal History Archive/Universal Image Group A mixed-race family from Alabama who relocated to southern Texas near the Rio Grande and assisted enslaved individuals in escaping to Mexico has also been uncovered by Hammack and researcher Roseann Bacha-Garza.
Hicks was a previously enslaved woman, and she was the husband’s second wife.
As well as this, some northern abolitionists journeyed south to assist enslaved persons in their attempts to get to Mexico.
Quaker abolitionist Benjamin Lundy “was aggressively appealing the Mexican authorities to enable colonies to be built for, I guess what we would term refugees” in the early 1830s, according to a contemporary account.
Seminole organizations comprised of escaped slaves people were successful in their plea to the Mexican authorities for land in 1852.
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.
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.
- 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.
(Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations,” The Atlantic, November 2005.
Social Theory, Sociology, “Settler Colonialism: An Introduction from the Perspective of Global Social Theory.” (E.
The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City.
NPR’s “Fresh Air” program.
Kathryn, “The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad” is a book about the Underground Railroad.
Works of Spectacular Interest Podcast with a historically black cast.
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.
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 /