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In addition to literary explorations of African Americans’ creativity and contributions to U.S. literature, explore African American History Month in Western Massachusetts through the different cultural organizations and institutions that educate the public on the history of African Americans in our region. One of the most significant pieces of New England history is the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes, stops, and places throughout 14 northern states that were established to help escaped slaves to freedom.

Use music as a lens for learning about history – Lloyd Miller (of The Deedle Deedle Dees fame) has just released a new Civil War-themed album filled with traditional and original music. Using a curriculum created by Miller, as well as a wealth of other resources, families can use music as an entry point for learning about an important time period in American history.

This week on the Hilltown Family Variety Show we are rebroadcasting our Underground Railroad Episode featuring songs like “Freedom Train,” “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” Wade in the Water,” and many other great songs. We’re also featuring resources to assist educators and families wanting to learn more about the Underground Railroad in American history….

Underground Railroad Quiz Listen to the HFVS Podcast Before Taking Lloyd Miller from the Deedle Deedle Dees writes: Our friends at the Hilltown Family Variety Show (HFVS) put together a special program all about the Underground Railroad. Our songs “Underground Railroad” and “Henry Box Brown” are on it. So are great versions of traditional songs by Taj Mahal and Bill Harley, a story read by Morgan Freeman and much more. Listen to… Read More

Hilltown Family Variety Show The last two installments of the Hilltown Family Variety Show have been re-broadcasts of two very popular episodes: Underground Railroad Episode Black History Month Episode Follow the links above to listen to our archived podcasts and to see playlists, video and resources. UNDERGROUND RAILROAD QUIZ Our friends, The Deedle Deedle Dees, an educational rock band based in Brooklyn, NY, are currently a doing a quiz for students ages 9… Read More

Underground Railroad Talk Museum of Springfield History April 11th @ 2pm Many families emailed to let me know how much they appreciated the Underground Railroad Episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show as a supplement to their children’s studies. Another opportunity for older students to learn about the Underground Railroad will be this Sunday, April 11th in Springfield, MA. At 2pm, the new Museum of Springfield History will host a talk titled… Read More

Listen to Podcast: Hilltown Family Variety Show Underground Railroad Episode Saturday from 9-10am Originally airing on January 23rd, 2010 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts ♦ Subscribe to Podcast Radio ♦ Facebook ♦ Twitter PLAYLIST The Deedle Deedle Dees – “Underground Railroad” [Freedom in a Box!] Mountain Heart – “Gospel Train” [Road that Never End] Kim & Reggie Harris – “Harriet Tubman / Steal… Read More

March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World … and more stories about African American history This January, as America prepares to commemorate the birthday of our country’s most iconic civil rights leader and Black History Month, families can learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and other heroes of African American history in an entertaining and educational new Scholastic Storybook Treasure DVD release, March On! The Day My Brother… Read More

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