Black History Month - Introducing Kids to the Underground Railroad

NH Civil War Gal

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Feb 5, 2017

Blacksmith’s Song

By Elizabeth Van Steenwyk, illustrated by Anna Rich; 2018

Somewhere in the antebellum South, a grandfather, father, and son have taught each other a song – a hammered pattern on an anvil which signals safety and freedom to those hiding nearby and traveling on the Underground Railraod. The young boy believes that one day the song will call him to find liberty…
The librarian at the check-out desk looked at me a little strangely when I picked up a large stack of picture books. She knows I don’t have children and beautifully illustrated thirty page books are not the typical volumes found on my library record. I’m working on a project, I explain to her…and she smiles.

When I was kid, Black History Month and African American History Month – though official in 1970 – were just starting to be recognized and celebrated in our local California community a couple decades later. I learned about the slavery, the underground railroad, and emancipation in generalized history books from the children’s section in the library. Now, over a decade later and with new emphasis on ethic histories, I wondered what could be found on the juvenile shelves.

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