Lincoln's first inaugural address

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March 4, 1861
  • “Twelve Years a Slave”: Analyzing Slave Narratives

    Created February 21, 2014
    Solomon Northup

    The corrupting influence of slavery on marriage and the family is a predominant theme in Solomon Northup’s narrative Twelve Years a Slave.  In this lesson, students are asked to identify and analyze narrative passages that provide evidence for how slavery undermined and perverted these social institutions. Northup collaborated with a white ghostwriter, David Wilson. Students will read the preface and identify and analyze statements Wilson makes to prove the narrative is true.

    12 Years a Slave spotlight image

    Solomon Northup’s “Twelve Years a Slave” and the Slave Narrative Tradition

    This essay written by a distinguished historian of American literature, gives an overview of the American slave narrative tradition, discusses five representative slave narratives, and provides a framework for cultural analysis of these works showing their intention and their arguments.

    Robert Smalls

    "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross"

    Explore the evolution of the African American people in this six-part documentary presented by Henry Louis Gates Jr. Discover the how they forged their own history, culture, and society against unimaginable odds.

    African American abolitionist David Walker born

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    September 28 1785

    Phillis Wheatley’s "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral" published

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    September 1, 1773
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    Soujourner Truth speaks at Women's Rights Convention

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    May 29, 1851
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    Abraham Lincoln nominated by Republican Party for President

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    May 18, 1860
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    Frederick Douglass delivers Decoration Day Address

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    May 30, 1871
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    John Brown, abolitionist, born

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    May 9, 1800
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