Panel Discusses Teaching Youth About African American Heritage - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Panel Discusses Teaching Youth About African American Heritage

(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

CAMDEN, Del. -- Two of Harriet Tubman's nieces joined historians on a panel discussing her life in slavery and after finding freedom at the Star Hill A.M.E. Church.

Joyce Stokes Jones and her daughter Michele Jones Galvin co-authored the book "Beyond the Underground: Aunt Harriet, Moses of Her People." It chronicles Tubman's life and family stories passed down through generations.

"We are able to tell over 31 chapters a real wonderful mix of a memoir, of historical reconstruction and of our own family lore," said Jones Galvin.

Lucreatia Wilson runs the Star Hill Museum which is dedicated to slaves who traveled on the underground railroad.

Wilson said the museum is a fitting place to celebrate African American Heritage Day and to hear from Tubman's nieces.

"Our old church was established in 1842 and that was where we originally housed slaves," said Wilson.

The panelists, all of whom are descendants of slaves, discussed ways of educating young people about African American heritage with the audience.

Some people traveled from as far as western Maryland to hear Tubman's relatives speak.

"It's really amazing to be in the presence of Harriet Tubman's family," said Gwendolyn Briley-Strand of Fort Washington, Md.

Briley-Strand is a stage actress who's been playing Harriet Tubman for more than 30 years. She said she never misses an event to learn from Tubman's living relatives.

"What I got from it is the passion that these two ladies have for their history. The sort of pièce de résistance of this was to be in the midst of a one-on-one story --the family's story," said Briley-Strand.

A story about an extraordinary woman who fought for the rights of others that will continue to be told for generations to come.

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