Slavery and the Making of AmericaPhoto of African-American children reading
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

The Slave Experience: Education, Arts, & Culture
Intro Historical Overview Character Spotlight Music in Slave Life Personal Narratives Original Docs
Introduction Education, Arts, & Culture
Character Spotlight: Maria Stewart Photo of actor portraying Maria Stewart from the film SLAVERY AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA Photo of an African-American man playing the banjo Get the Historical Overview
Born free in Boston, Maria Stewart was orphaned at five years old and hired out as a domestic. While a young woman, Maria met David Walker, author of AN APPEAL TO THE COLORED PEOPLE OF THE WORLD ...

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How did the arts of Africa influence the arts of enslaved African Americans? Why did South Carolina law prohibit slaves from playing drums? What did it mean to "pat juba"? Were slaves entitled to education? Did they go to school? If not, how did they learn to read and write?

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Music in Slave Life Original Documents Personal Narratives
Photo of Bob Ledbetter

Learn about Thomas Jefferson's ideas concerning black intelligence and other perspectives on slave education and culture through documents dating to the Colonial, Antebellum, and Reconstruction periods in American history.


Listen to music that slaves worked, prayed, and danced to and learn about the instruments that shaped the sounds of life under slavery.


Read and listen to compelling first-hand accounts of life under slavery and Reconstruction.

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