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Resisting for Justice- The African Meeting House and the Rescue of Shadrach Minkins

This hour long educational program relies on the use of role cards to reenact Boston’s response to slavery in general, and the capture of Shadrach Minkins, the first slave caught in the city after the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, in particular. Geared towards third and fifth grade students and presented in the African Meeting House, this program introduces students to the major shapers of the Underground Railroad as well as the Abolition Movement in Boston and throughout the country. Divided into three groups, the students portray Early Influences of the Abolition Movement, Operatives on the Underground Railroad, and Black Bostonians living on Beacon Hill. These three vignettes are tied together through the use of a narrative of Shadrach’s escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad, to his capture in Boston, and his dramatic courthouse rescue by local black and white abolitionists. This interactive program helps to connect students to the major themes of the Underground Railroad and the Abolition Movement in the city and stresses the crucial role of resisting for justice in our nation’s history.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: Boston African American National Historic Site, 14 Beacon Street, Boston, 02108

Contact Information: 617-742-5415 (main phone)

National Park Unit: Yes

Ownership: Kenneth A. Heidelberg

Location Type: Program

People/Organizations Associated with the site: Fugitive Slave Law

Freedom Seekers: Shadrach Minkins