Communication and secrecy were key to the successful operation of the Underground Railroad. Safety was more important than quickness. Both fugitive slaves and members of the Underground Railroad learned to code and decode hidden messages, and to disguise signs to avoid capture. There were code names for towns on the routes and code numbers for towns. There were signs and songs. A quilt hanging on a clothesline with a house and a smoking chimney among its designs indicated a safe house. The song, “Follow the Drinking Gourd” served as directions to Canada. Using storytelling, activities and songs, Dr. Sanders depicts the ingenuity and resiliency of those who used the Underground Railroad to help over 100,000 slaves escape to freedom between 1810 and 1850.
This presentation is being held at Surprise City Hall Council Chambers – 16000 N. Civic Center Plz.
Events are free, but registration is required at surpriseaz.gov/ArtsSignUp
This program is made possible by Arizona Humanities
Tamika Sanders started her company Savvy Pen to provide interactive programs that incorporate arts learning and multicultural training to bridge cultural and socioeconomic divides between educators and students. Her work brings diverse real-world perspectives to programming initiatives and creates strategic community partnerships that can generate revenue and provide access to resources and opportunities for marginalized groups. In 2009, Dr. Sanders collaborated with the Bi-National Arts Residency (BNAR), which connects cultural communities in the Sonoran Desert on issues of social justice and identity through art. Dr. Sanders hopes to continue using the arts to break barriers, unite people, and create social change.