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Freedom Days 2008
New Character at GHF Underground Railroad
by Jim Guidry and Molly Dannenmaier
Friday, June 06, 2008

A new character from Galveston’s African American history will be seen for the first time in the sixth annual Underground Railroad program on Thursday, June 12 in Kempner Park.

GHF board member Tommie Boudreaux conducted extensive research in the Library of Congress’ transcripts of “Slave Narratives,” oral histories collected from 1936 to 1938 by the Federal Writers Project from survivors of the last years of slavery in America.  Her research led to Pierce Harper, who settled in Galveston after he was liberated from slavery, becoming a preacher at the First Union Baptist Church on the island.   Michael Jackson, executive director of St. Vincent’s House, will portray Pierce.

Boudreaux reported on her research and Jackson portrayed Harper at a dress rehearsal for the event. Listen: RealPlayer  MP3

GHF Director of Marketing and Public Relations Molly Dannenmaier and Boudreaux talked about new educational projects for children who attend the event.  Listen: RealPlayer  MP3

The free Underground Railroad program will take place on Thursday June 12 in Garten Verein and Kempner Park as area children 8 to 12 years old are acquainted with the challenges blacks faced in an escape from slavery to freedom, and with some of the historical characters who were part of the famous Underground Railroad. News Release

The program is presented by the Education and African American Heritage Committees of the Galveston Historical Foundation. It features singing of songs of the time of slavery, packing a lunch in a bandana, and setting out to freedom along a series of stations on the “Underground Railroad,” manned by costumed presenters with true stories to tell.

For more coverage of Freedom Days Click Here

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