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Update posted on Mon, Aug 9, 1999, at 4:50:20 PM Pacific Daylight Time.

Reflections on the Railroad
Journal entries from trip participants, posted from the road...

"Isn't it wonderful when you can retrace history. [Day Two] was so very powerful and moving. At the end of the day I found myself in tears. Learning more details about the Underground Railroad was so exciting."

"The presentation at the Bethel Baptist Church was inordinately moving, connecting the music of the South with the messages of Freedom."

"Even as slaves continued on the path to freedom, some of their progeny, such as John Paul Dunbar, proved to the world that a people may be enslaved but the spirit within will always find a way out."

"I learned that I need to be more sensitive to what I teach and who I teach it to. American History is truly alive and I need to tap in on those ties to make learning for my students more meaningful."

"Slavery/prejudice should not be looked at as a black and white issue, but as a human condition. Each of us is capable of great acts and/or treacherous deeds. We must learn from each other's experiences. The Footsteps to Freedom can be an inner journey as well as grappeling with the shackles which enslave our minds, retracing the paths which brought as to this place, discovering the meaning of freedom in our own lives."

"The importance of words -- the difference between slaves and enslaved Africans. This second term allowed these stolen people to keep their identity. So simple but so very important. I learned that the UGRR is still alive and working, only now it is not in secret, but they are still saving lives by finding and preserving this vital part of American heritage which validated the lives of so many. . . . The pangs of sorrow were very difficult to manage when they acted out the slaves ship scene."

"I felt a great sense of pride to be an American, to have Blacks and Whites to look up to, and know they they work together."

"I hope the experiences in Maysville with Jerry and Peggy will remain with me, and allow me to impart the depth of importance and emotion to my students. I want my students to feel proud of their lineage."

"I learned that every family needs to teach their young about their ancestors. Family traditions and values are very important. All races have trouble trying to trace their lineage."

"I learned that no matter how uncomfortable or tired or hot I become on this trip, it does not even compare to the conditions that escaping slaves put up with. I thank God for freedom."

"Remind [my students] daily that we all stand on the shoulders of our own ancestors. How can we know where we are going if we don't know where we have been!"

"I feel a great sadness, a closer-ness to the slaves/people in bondage. My Lord when will it end? I'm so sorry."

"I feel honored to have shared this unique experience with you. It has expanded my knowledge chip in my memory bank which I can draw upon for future lessons."

"In visiting the sites of the Underground RR I could feel the terror of the slaves in making an unknown journey made without the benefit of maps, but trusting in God to guide them along the way."

"Just as black and white people were motivated to act for a just cause and free as many slaves as they could, black and white people must use the same motivation to enhance race relations today."

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