May Harriet Tubman StoryWalk

Follow the Drinking Gourd
By Jeanette Winter
Monday, May 2nd to Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Sculptor Wesley Woffard’s 9-foot monument honoring Harriet Tubman (entitled “The Journey to Freedom”) is in White Plains. The sculpture is on display at the Renaissance Plaza until June 30th, and the City and the White Plains Public Library will be honoring Harriet Tubman with a wide variety of programs throughout its stay. A full listing of the Library’s events can be found here.

To celebrate, from May 2nd-31st the Library will have on display the second of three StoryWalks – take a walk in the Garden Plaza, follow the panels and read Follow The Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter.

Follow The Drinking Gourd is a book that uses traditional American folk pictures to tell the story of Peg Leg Joe who helped a group of slaves use the underground railroad to find freedom in the North. Peg Leg Joe taught slaves an innocent folk song “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Within the The Drinking Gourd song was a hidden code that revealed the way to freedom. For example, the line: “when the sun comes back, and the first quail calls,” meant spring.

These courageous men and women followed the drinking gourd, or the big dipper to freedom by sleeping in the day and traveling dark roads at night. It was a perilous journey but with the help of Quakers and other abolitionists men, women and children followed the stars of the drinking gourd to freedom.

Storywalk activity Grab & Go kits (preschool to 3rd grade) will include construction paper to create a collage of a person floating above a stream as the stars guide them. Families can pick up this craft while supplies last. The stars symbolize the direction to freedom. The Grab & Go kits will be in the lobby on the first floor of the Library, starting April 1st.

Please check out these resources for further information on Harriet Tubman:

Follow the Drinking Gourd DVD
Library Catalog

The Underground Railroad: Navigate the Journey from Slavery to Freedom with 25 Projects by Judy Dodge Cummings
The Center for Cartoon Studies presents: Harriet Tubman – Toward Freedom by Whit Taylor
Library Catalog
Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom by Shane W. Evans
Library Catalog / Libby
Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson
Library Catalog
Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringold
Library Catalog
Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
Library Catalog / Libby
Categories: Authors & Books, Events, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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