Professional Development for Teachers


Boston's Struggle for Freedom is celebrated in a Two-Day Summer Institute for teachers. It's free, of course!

From 1806-1865, 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 would yield 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.

The Boston African American National Historic Site and the National Archives at Boston in Waltham cordially invite you to participate in the 2013 Summer Institute "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. The program is free; 10 pdp's will be awarded upon completion of the course requirements.

A $100 fully refundable application fee is required to reserve your spot at the Institute. This deposit will be reimbursed in its entirety to all participants at the end of the institute. Checks should be made payable to the Foundation for the National Archives.

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 shall 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 shall 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 & Wlliam Craft. We shall also explore the stories of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, and we 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 or Dorothy Rivera at

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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Boston African American National Historical Site

Boston, MA 02109


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