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AUDIO BOOK READING chp 4 BREAKING THE CHAINS, WM.L.KATZ
Jenny Smith Fletcher was the daughter of W. H. Smith, founder of Nicodemus. She was the first postmistress and schoolteacher in Nicodemus, Kansas. She was also one of the original charter members of the A.M.E. Church.
Formerly enslaved African Americans left Kentucky in organized colonies to experience freedom in the "promised land" of Kansas. Nicodemus represents the involvement of African Americans in the westward expansion and settlement of the Great Plains. It is the oldest and only remaining Black settlement west of the Mississippi River.
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AUDIO BOOK READING - BREAKING THE CHAINS, Week 4 Chapter 4 Resistance
Although slave revolts constituted the most dramatic form of slave resistance, they were by no means the only method of reprisal. Arson proved to be an exceptionally effective and consequently frequent form of retaliation. In 1795, slave-set fires in Charleston, South Carolina, prompted the governor to declare a day of fasting. More arson there in 1804 resulted in the destruction of six ships and hundreds of homes. The problem of arson was so widespread that, in 1820, the American Fire Insurance Company of Philadelphia stopped issuing policies in the South.
Assaults and attempts at assassination were also common. In 1740, accusations that slaves were attempting to poison New York City's water supply resulted in widespread arrests and executions. Poison attempts were so frequent they were even referred to in the lyrics of at least one slave song. Vandalism and destruction of crops were also regular occurrences.
AUDIO BOOK READING - BREAKING THE CHAINS, Week 2 Chapter 2
"In the North tax money built libraries and public schools
in the South it built jails to hold slaves and paid the salaries of slave patrols.
New York state published more newspapers than the fourteen slave states combined."
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“In his Breaking The Chains, which earned the Carter G. Woodson award, Katz chronicles how resistance by Africans marked the era of slavery. It shows how slaves battled for dignity and liberty in fields, cities, through education and religion, by joining maroon colonies, by staging revolts or fleeing on the Underground Railroad. Katz shows how slaves transformed the Civil War into a battle for freedom and brought about the Union victory. “This book will force many readers to reexamine their assumptions about American history… Young readers will be fascinated and better informed for having experienced this book,” wrote School Library Journal. Striking photographs highlight this unknown heritage.”
— Black Child Magazine, February/March 19
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