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Crafting Freedom Materials Project Videos


Below are examples of 3-5 minute videos that will be available through the Crafting Freedom website, which has a targeted launch of March 2010. Each video brings to life a 19th century African American "freedom crafter," some through their own words excerpted from memoirs or slave narratives and some through dramatic interpretations of lived experiences or creative works. These videos will be individually downloadable or the collection of all ten videos will be available for purchase in DVD format for a modest fee.

Nine Feet Long and Seven Wide

This short video highlights a segment from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the slave narrative of Harriet Jacobs (a bestseller in its day). A mature Jacobs sits in a parlor in a northern city sipping tea and remembering many years earlier when she was a slave. We see the small 9 x 7 foot garret in which she hid. The video focuses on her dramatic escape from slavery and the years she spent hiding in this small, cramped, crawl space above a porch in the house of her grandmother, a free woman who lived independently.

Learning to Read with Aunt Chloe

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a prolific African American writer of the nineteenth century, wrote novels, speeches, and poetry. One of her most popular series of poems was presented in the voice of a fictional character she named "Aunt Chloe." This character was a very wise black woman who survived slavery and its aftermath. In this short video, Aunt Chloe looks back on her days as a slave and through the poem "Learning to Read" describes the secretive and ingenious ways slaves acquired literacy, which they saw as an aid to obtaining freedom.

All content (c) 2009 by the Apprend Foundation.