The Underground Railroad Essay

2815 Words 12 Pages
Introduction

Imagine yourself a slave, hungry, beaten, and sick with grief at having had your freedom, family and all that makes you human stripped from you. But then, you get word of a way out of it all. It will separate you from all whom you love, it will endanger your life, but that is the price for freedom from the slavery of the south. Fellow slaves begin acting strangely, gathering tools, clothing, and food. You look around, and all you see is a freshly washed quilt hanging out to dry. Then you begin to realize that there is a new quilt every few days, each with a new pattern, and with each quilt, your fellow slaves correspondingly perform more and more preparative tasks. So you join them, realizing this is your only chance
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An entire language was also developed from different quilt patterns as well as seemingly innocent church songs that all the while were transmitting messages to the trained eye and ear in front of the whites.

Black slaves were far from being passive victims that waited to be rescued and ceased to struggle. From the day that these Africans set foot on American soil, they acted as aggressively as possible to maintain their own African culture, heritage, and freedom. The Underground Railroad is a story of the individual and cultural survival of the African people who were brought unwillingly to work as slaves in this country. It is a tale that crosses the Atlantic, bridging the peoples of Africa and America. It is a story of North and South, a story of secrets, involving music, language and secret codes. It is, at its heart, a story of triumph and liberty bought at a great price by the individuals who put their lives on the line to save these people from an evil institution. It was the only hope many of these slaves ever had.

The Quilt System

The way the quilt system worked was through a series of common everyday tasks that would not alarm the white slave owners. Stitching was a ubiquitous household task for a female slave to perform. She would stitch in patterns that meant hope for the on looking slaves, yet nothing but decoration to the plantation owners. When it was time for laundry, the washer would hang the quilt out to dry for all to

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