“Fighting for Freedom”: A Free Summer Institute from the National Archives at Boston and the National Park Service

The National Archives at Boston in Waltham, MA, and the Boston African American National Historic Site are teaming up to offer the 2013 Summer Institute for teachers “Fighting for Freedom at Home and on the Front: Boston’s Struggle for Freedom, 1806–1865.”

The two-day institute takes place Monday, June 24, 2013 and Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Of course, the program is free!

Fighting for Freedom Flyer
Download the flyer (PDF).

From 1806–1865, the people of Boston fought for the end of slavery. Boston’s established free black community centered on Beacon Hill and the city’s loud voices of justice yielded safe havens for fugitive slaves, resistance and defiance of the fugitive slave law, literary masterpieces, our first integrated school, and a heritage of fighting for freedom of which we should all be proud. This would culminate in the mustering, 150 years ago this year, of the first all-volunteer troops of African descent, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

“Fighting for Freedom” topics will include Boston’s resistance to slavery, the freedom and abolition movements, and the mustering of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. It is suitable for teachers of all grade levels, K–college.

On Monday, June 24th, we will explore place—that is, the locations in Boston—where our African American community flourished in the early part of the 19th century. In this community, fugitive slaves were protected, the first desegregated school was established, and the African Meeting House was constructed as a center of collective activity. Professor Stephen Kantrowitz, author of More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889, will be our keynote speaker.

On Tuesday, June 25th, we will be at the National Archives in Waltham, MA, where we will focus on research and strategies for teaching and learning. Participants will work with original documents pertaining to the fugitive slave cases of Anthony Burns, Shadrach Minkins and Ellen & William Craft. We will also explore the stories of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, and will work together to identify materials and methods for teaching these inspiring and important stories.

To register for “Fighting for Freedom,” or for more information, contact Annie Davis at annie.davis@nara.gov.

One thought on ““Fighting for Freedom”: A Free Summer Institute from the National Archives at Boston and the National Park Service

  1. The 54th Massachusetts Infantry was not the first all black volunteer unit in the Union army. The first were from Kansas and were raised the year before in 1862.

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