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Imagine that an alien ship has landed in your community. You are captured and transported to a place unlike anything that you have ever experienced. You don’t understand anything about their geography or culture. You are enslaved. You think about escaping. Make a list of possible obstacles that you would face if you decided to actually attempt an escape.
Slaves Picking Cotton on a Mississippi Plantation
A. Slaves were responsible for clearing land and planting and harvesting crops. An African-American woman is shown here balancing a basket of cotton on her head on a farm in Augusta, Georgia. (1870)
Poster announcing a slave auction in Virginia, USA, 1823
An iron mask with hooks around the neck to stop slaves running away or resting. The mask also stops the slaves from eating or drinking due to a flat piece of metal which goes into the mouth. The shackles and spurs would also have made it difficult for captured slaves to run away.
Quilt Patterns as Secret Messages The Monkey Wrench pattern, on the left, alerted escapees to gather up tools and prepare to flee; the Drunkard Path design, on the right, warned escapees not to follow a straight route .