UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

Drama

Situation 1:

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Pretend to be a fugitive slave or, a free black or white abolitionist.

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You’re under pressure.  For example, there are slave catchers in the area, or the news has leaked out that you are helping slaves escape.

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Record your feelings, your conversations, or fears.

Situation 2:

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Read the story of Henry “Box” Brown. 

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How do you think he and Smith worked out their scheme?

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Role-play their conversations.

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Can you provide sound effects for when Smith is nailing the crate?  And for the ship caught in the storm?

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Form a welcoming committee in Philadelphia.  Will you need special lighting as members of the Vigilance Committee carefully pry the crate open?  Show your amazement when Brown springs out of the box, introduces himself, and shakes hands with all the committee members.  Demonstrate how the committee rejoices by singing his favorite hymn.

Situation 3:

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Pretend you’re an abolitionist.  You want a house built with secret rooms.  How can you find a carpenter who won’t tell of your UGRR activities?

Situation 4

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Often someone in a group became ill or injured while making an escape.

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The person might be carried by others in the party.  If he or she could walk with assistance, he or she might use a walking stick.  Sick or injured Underground Railroad passengers would sometimes insist on being left behind rather than risk the safety of the entire group.  Pretend you are a member of the group.  What would you do if you were the injured person?  If the injured person was your grandmother?

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