Skip to Content

Mapping Freedom and Enslavement

Using primary sources, Mapping Freedom and Slavery helps students study the history of slavery and abolition in Brooklyn and to learn about Black-led institutions and organizations of the late-18th and early-19th century.

Emerging from In Pursuit of Freedom, this curriculum introduces students to the skills, practices, and tools of the historian using primary sources. It is designed to mimic the research process in a controlled setting, allowing students to experience the excitement that comes with discovering answers hidden in archival sources while restraining the scope of potential research.

Cover of Mapping Freedom and Slavery Curriculum

Why Study Freedom and Slavery in Your Community?

Slavery in the United States was absolutely foundational, and remnants of its legacy are found in all aspects of daily life: from the currency we use to the streets we live on, and to ongoing structures of oppression that continue to define dominant aspects of black life in this country, and to limit and harm all communities.

We hope that all who use this curriculum come away with the confidence to explore the connections between the past and our present political, economic, social, and culture issues and to use the skills and histories learned here to make change.

Mapping Freedom and Slavery includes:

  • Primary source materials from the BHS collection and other archives, including photographs, newspaper and magazine articles and oral history transcripts.
  • Critical thinking questions and document-analysis activities to help students observe, question, analyze and interpret the material.
  • A Teacher’s Guide, with lesson plans, historical background information, time lines, teaching ideas, guiding questions, extension activities, and reproducible activity sheets.