DAS Lead Session on Using Music to Teach Antislavery History

Members of the Dutchess Antislavery Singers will be leading a session for teachers at this week’s annual conference of the National Council for History Education in Niagara Falls, New York. Rebecca Edwards and Peter Bunten will host the session, titled “‘Oh Freedom, Sweet Freedom’: Using Music to Teach U.S. Abolitionist History.” Between 1830 and 1865, American abolitionism grew into a powerful interracial movement for social justice. It crossed borders of race, gender, and religion and united Northern reformers with Southerners who bore witness in exile to their experiences. This session will provide teachers with an array of creative resources for teaching the movement’s history through its music, including lyrics, scores, illustrations, videos, and a dramatic script based on primary documents. Participants will brainstorm ways to adapt these materials to diverse classrooms, and the session will end with a brief performance.

Edwards is the leader of the Dutchess Antislavery Singers and Bunten is current chair of the Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project. The DAS is one of the programs sponsored by the MHAHP.