coded gospel songs


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Codes for freedom : 

Codes for freedom

Slavery : 


Facts about the Underground Railroad : 

Facts about the Underground Railroad The Underground Railroad is used to describe the complete range of ways and means that slaves fled bondage. What the Underground Railroad did was help escaped slaves make their way from the slave-owning southern states up through the northern states and eventually into Canada and freedom. This was accomplished by secretly transporting the fugitive slaves from safe-house to safe-house, steadily moving north until freedom was secured. Slaves were treated as useful property and had no rights. There were many codes of the Underground Railroad. Quilts patterns appeared to have contained secret messages that helped direct the slaves to freedom. Chants also contained secret messages telling them when to flee their plantations

Slide 4: 

Slavery led up to the beginning of the Civil War because the Southern wanted slavery whereas the North was opposed. Using modern roads, the trip would be 560 miles (900 kilometers) long. A strong, lucky runaway might have made it to freedom in two months. For others, especially in bad weather, the trek might have lasted a year. According to one estimate, the South lost 100,000 slaves between 1810 and 1850. The routes from safe-house to safe-house (houses where fugitive slaves were kept) were called 'lines'. Stopping places were called 'stations'. Those who aided fugitive slaves were known as 'conductors'. In order to keep terms as clandestine as possible, the fugitive slaves were known as 'packages' or 'freight'. The Underground Railroad

Railroad Routes : 

Railroad Routes

Slide 6: 

Since the beginning of time, people have always needed to reach out to others. They need to express their thoughts, dreams, and needs. Many slaves did not have the chance to learn how to read and write. In some cases they were not even allowed to talk to one another. They had to be clever and learn how to “talk.” Quilts were used to do this.

Slide 7: 

Harriet Tubman, a runaway slave herself, formed the Underground Railroad and with the help of Peg Leg Joe and others led their people to freedom during the early days of slavery in the 1840’s. “Follow the Drinking Gourd” was supposedly used by an Underground Railroad operative to encode escape instructions and a map.

Slide 8: 

Slaves used the North Star to decide which way was north by simply “walking towards it”. As soon as slave children could understand they were taught to locate the north star by using the “drinking gourd” They referred to the “dipper” as the “drinking gourd” because they used drinking gourds instead of fancy metal dippers to retrieve water. The “drinking gourd” in the night sky became a symbol of freedom for all slaves. They passed on information to different plantations by the use of songs or hymns. Slaves used songs as codes to pass secret information so their white owners would understand nothing. “Follow the Drinking Gourd” is an example used by slaves to code their path to freedom when they would runaway from slavery.

Slide 9: 

Lyrics! Follow the Drinking Gourd Follow the drinking gourd!Follow the drinking gourd.For the old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedomIf you follow the drinking gourd. When the sun comes back and the first quail calls,Follow the drinking gourd, For the old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedomIf you follow the drinking gourd. The riverbank makes a very good road,The dead trees will show you the way,Left foot, peg foot traveling on,Following the drinking gourd.The river ends between two hills,Follow the drinking gourd,There's another river on the other side,Follow the drinking gourd. Where the great big river meets the little river,Follow the drinking gourd,The old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedomIf you follow the drinking gourd The Meaning "When the sun comes back" means winter and spring when the altitude of the sun at noon is higher each day. Quail are migratory bird wintering in the South. The Drinking Gourd is the Big Dipper. The old man is Peg Leg Joe. The verse tells slaves to leave in the winter and walk towards the Drinking Gourd. Eventually they will meet a guide who will escort them for the remainder of the trip. Most escapees had to cross the Ohio River which is too wide and too swift to swim. The Railroad struggled with the problem of how to get escapees across, and with experience, came to believe the best crossing time was winter. Then the river was frozen, and escapees could walk across on the ice. Since it took most escapees a year to travel from the South to the Ohio, the Railroad urged slaves to start their trip in winter in order to be at the Ohio the next winter. From

Slide 10: 

It wasn’t a subway and it wasn’t a train But still they used the same kind of names Like conductors and passengers, stations and tracks And you knew it was safe when you saw a quilt out back With a smoking chimney on top This was a place where you could stop for the night Until the morning came And you had to get back on board the train

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