Taking It Home
I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other. — Harriet Tubman, conductor on the Underground Railroad
IN TODAY'S SESSION... we learned about the second Unitarian Universalist Source, expressed in children's language as "The people of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair." We played the game Follow the Leader and considered what makes a good leader and what we can do if a leader encourages us to make bad choices. We learned the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd," a code song enslaved people in the United States used to encourage escape attempts. We heard the story of Harriet Tubman, who returned to the South after her own escape, again and again, to lead more than 1,000 other African Americans to freedom. The children thought about ways love calls us to take courageous action. We used role plays to practice responding to unfairness or unkindness..
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... rules and what you can do when they are unfair. Share your own examples of times when you thought rules were unfair and how you responded. Ask your child about times when they have experienced unfair rules. Talk together about ways to help change unfair rules, such as writing a letter, signing a petition, or meeting to discuss it with the appropriate people in authority. Be willing to reconsider family rules; look for an opportunity to involve your child in establishing rules everyone agrees are fair while maintaining emotional and physical safety and health.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try...
A Family Adventure. The United States and Canada have many tours, museums, and programs dedicated to the Underground Railroad. Find out about a cross-border experience that historically re-enacts the Underground Railroad in Western New York and Ontario. Locate one near you on the U.S. National Park Service website, which hosts the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Listings.
Family Discovery. Research U.S. slavery and the abolition movement. There are many good children's books about the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman. Learn about abolitionist Frederick Douglass who had himself escaped slavery. Read a Tapestry of Faith story about the dramatic escape of Ellen and William Craft in the 1850s.
In the Winter, 2017 UU World magazine, the Families section story, "A Light Across the River," focuses on the risky crossing between Kentucky, a slave state, and Ohio, a free state, before the Civil War. Find out together about the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and President Abraham Lincoln.
The American Girl Addy book series uses historical fiction to detail the life of a slave girl who escapes to freedom and experiences challenges in her new life in the North.
Family Ritual. Read an article by Rev. Hope Johnson to learn about Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the last African American community’s learning that their enslavement was over, after the Civil War on June 19, 1965. Find and attend a community Juneteenth event near you.