Georgia Extension: One Minute's Freedom

Georgia Extension: One Minute’s Freedom

These extensions expand the Self-Evident stories to Georgia. They start with a local case study, then ask students to compare and contrast what they see to the original story in order to draw deeper conclusions about Georgia history.

Standard:

  • SS8H3 Analyze the role of Georgia in the American Revolutionary Era.

Plan:

  1. Complete the Basic Plan for Mumbet Freeman.
  2. Transition to your Georgia case study: “We’re going to look at what stories of enslaved people becoming free in Georgia looked like around the same time. What do you predict will be similar to the story we saw from Massachusetts? What might be different? Why do you think this will be so?” Discuss a few ideas in pairs, small groups, or as a whole class.
  3. Students should learn about Andrew Bryan (see resources here and here), an enslaved man who was able to purchase freedom and lead a church in Federalist-era Georgia. Have students create a Venn diagram or T-chart to compare what they see in the stories.
  4. Explore some or all of the following prompts to connect student research to the bigger issues of the Self Evident video. This could be done through discussion in pairs, small groups, as a whole class, or using a digital discussion board. Students could also do individual informal journal responses or more formal writing.
    • What are important similarities? What are important differences? What do you know about Georgia and Massachusetts at this time that might help explain these differences?
    • There are no records of any enslaved people using the courts to try to gain freedom in Georgia. Why do you think that is?
    • Very rarely and with much difficulty, some enslaved people were able to “purchase” their freedom (see more here). While the numbers were small, this was one of the most common ways enslaved people became free. Why do you think this approach, while rare, was one of the best paths to freedom for enslaved people in Georgia?
    • Some people might say that because stories like Mumbet Freeman’s and especially Andrew Bryan’s are rare, we shouldn’t look at them because they give people a false sense of how many people were able to escape enslavement. Do you agree? If not, why are Freeman and Bryan important to know about?