Slavery and the Making of AmericaPicture of slave women cultivating a village garden in Central Africa, Courtesy of the University of Virginia Library
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

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Rationale for the exhibit:

We are participants of the teen leadership group, TEAM Diversity, at The Boys’ Club of New York’s Abbe Clubhouse. We are an ethnically diverse group and are learning improvisation skills so we can dramatize and reflect issues confronting multicultural adolescents. Some members of the group viewed the tapes and had discussions on possible topics before agreeing on our chosen theme.

We selected the theme of Rebellious Slaves because we wanted to show others how slaves fought back to free themselves. At first we played around with the idea of abolitionists, but decided that the more untold story was about how the slaves themselves worked for their freedom. Inspired by the story of the Stono Rebellion portrayed in “The Downward Spiral” episode we decided on our Rebellious Slaves theme.

We viewed the tapes and conducted research on the internet and discovered more information about slaves who fought for independence. We gained more knowledge about people like Gabriel Posser, who tried to free himself and about 1,000 other slaves, but unfortunately did not succeed. We also learned about Harriet Tubman who not only saved herself but helped 300 other slaves to escape their lives of unpaid service. And Dred Scott who fought for his independence in court only to be rejected because he was not considered a citizen of the United States under the constitution because of the color of his skin.

Finally we paired each image with lines from Maya Angelou's poem, "Still I Rise," to help us tell the story of these Rebellious Slaves.

By: The Boys' Club of New York, Abbe Clubhouse
Team Diversity: Vincenzo, Dana, Sydney, Tiara, Tyler, Chris, Daniel, Alessia, and Vikram.
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