Historian, playwright, actor, storyteller. Living History programs introduces untapped accessible history that celebrates the rich diversity, ambitions, courage, determination, and inspiring heroism of American women. The sixty-minute Living History programs are suited for diverse audiences: adults, families, senior citizens, and students’ eight to eighteen with an Interactive Q&A. The program allows the audience to participate, discover new people, objects, attitudes, activities, dress and technology in the context of everyday life. The program highlights contact and conflicts making it more socially relevant and realistic.
Listed below are the Living History Programs. "I Can’t Die but Once" – one of the most daring and effective spies during the Civil War were none other than Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman a woman of unique qualities and abilities even though she was illiterate, maintained an unblemished record of vigilance, legacy of sacrifice and struggle. Subjected to fictional treatments more than serious historical examinations, the elementary school version may be more palatable, but the real Tubman is far more inspiring. To John Brown, she was the General, for the enslaved she led to freedom, Moses. To slaveholders, she was a thief and a trickster. To abolitionist, she was a prophet. She recruited freedmen, and slaves, as scouts and spies. Illiterate as she was, her mental alertness and spiritual development were extraordinary. She was a fearless visionary.
"If I am Not for Myself Who Will Be for Me" - During the fall of 1796, George Washington’s final months in office, Oney Judge Staines, a slave, escaped the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia. There is always an underside - hidden from sight the more unpleasant or reprehensible side that needs to surface to give an integral portrait of a historical event or person. Oney’s story is one such story. Her voice provides the informative accounts needed to appreciate her struggles, self-determination and triumphs of her life. Her account was not a stereotypical runaway account.
"Looking Things Over" Zora Neale Hurston considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature, an American novelist, short story writer, folklorist, and anthropologist. After going to Florida in 1927 to collect folklore, and after years of organizing her notes published Mules and Men in 1935. Zora, not only did she love writing the folklores she enjoyed telling them. Zora celebrated the African American culture of the rural South, because she believed that black people had wonderful stories that the world needed to hear and she told them proudly.
JIM CROW (HARD HISTORY) this is a Post Performance or just Jim Crow Hard History without the Performance. Hard History program provides a means to promote social justice, challenge bias, and engage students/and adults in discussions about diversity that would perhaps not happen otherwise.
Historical Background information:
Once the enslaved were free, the South had to find a way to live with them. The North had created a model. Jim Crow laws, separating blacks from whites in public facilities, were already on the books in the North. Massachusetts had passed the first known law in 1841, separating whites and blacks in railroad cars. Once reconstruction was complete, and the Union soldiers were gone, the South had to make a huge transition from slave to free society. Because it had been illegal for an enslaved person to read or write before the Civil War, most were illiterate. Education was sorely needed to assimilate former slaves into mainstream society. Congress had no plan to help African Americans make the transition from slavery to freedom, a societal vacuum existed. The South began to fill the vacuum with Jim Crow laws. By 1914, every southern state had its own version of how it chose to live with former slaves. At the same time, the South struggled to make another equally problematic transition: from slave to free economy. Since 1619, when southern colonists first used slaves, the South had a plantation (cheap labor) economy. Now southerners needed to create a completely new market economy.
To put the difficulty in perspective, keep in mind this fact. America's plantation system had been in effect longer (246 years) than America has been free from British control.