1). When you read Slavery’s Constitution, there was a tension as to whether the US government saw enslaved people as people or property. According to your readings and fugitive slave ads, how did enslaved people prove their humanity?
2). What were the perils that faced enslaved women who wanted to run? Did they have different situations? Were they tracked differently?
3). When we think about enslaved people running away, we think about them going North, but what were the specific challenges that people enslaved in Texas faced? Where did they go and why? Was the escape from Texas harder or easier than in states like Virginia, where most of our runaway narratives come from?
4). What types of people helped refuges along the way? In what situations did they need help? What were people willing to sacrifice to help them? Who could they trust in their vulnerable flight? Think: white, black, native American, Mexican American, lawyers, pastors, or other enslaved people? **hint you need to choose 3 groups of people and bring them together answering why?
5). Many of my students believe the Underground railroad was an actual railroad. Why is that problematic? How does that undermine the truth about the difficult journey these people took? If not a railroad, what should have the journey have been named?
7). What role did literacy play in an enslaved people’s ability to fight for their freedom? How might you see the ability to read and write (maybe even in other languages) empowering people to gain their freedom or retain their freedom after the escape?
8). After reading these sources, how do you see enslaved people expressing agency over their own lives? What were the most important ways that agency was expressed? Are enslavers happy about it, in what way do they move to squash those freedoms?
9). After reading your sources, how important was physical appearance to apprehending enslaved people? What were the most important ways that refugees from enslavement could transform their appearance?
10). Besides disguising one’s physical appearance, how else did runaways fundamentally have to hide who they were to make it to safety? What does it mean to change one’s name or skills to one’s humanity?
11). Choose your own. ***but pass it by me***
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