Friday, March 3, 2017

African American History Tours for Kids in Their Hometown

Tour of Peter Hammond Cemetery
Unknown Slave Boy Grave
There is a part of history that African American people must face and that is the history of slavery. My ancestors on both sides of my family were slaves in the Florida Parishes. While teaching my grandkids about their family, history we had to discuss slavery. They raised many questions about slavery, especially for children their ages. Of course! They can relate to kids because they are kids. They wanted to know what did they eat? Did the kids go to school? Did they have toys? Were they made to work?

They have been touring lots museums and saw many artifacts of that time and period. While visiting the cotton fields in the Mississippi Delta my granddaughter asked, "Did little girls have to pick cotton too?" The look on her face expressed many thoughts that were going on in her little mind. There's one person old enough to remember the cotton fields: her great-grandmother.

Recently I took them to the grave site of a grave marked (Unknown Slave Boy) in the cemetery of Peter Hammond.  Hammond, Louisiana founded circa 1819 by Peter Hammond. As they read the historical marker in the cemetery and learned that the little boy didn't have a name. "They wanted to know why?" Why he didn't have a name? Who were his parents? Where was he from? How old was he?

We will continue to visit museums and libraries this summer. Our schedule is planned for summer 2017. After each lesson and tour, I give them a pop quiz to see what they learned and open the floor for discussions and critical thinking. It's a great way to make history come alive for your child.