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Monday Mix-ins: King Cotton and the Abolitionist Movement

February 27th, 2017

A cotton plantation on the Mississippi, 1884
{Public domain via Wikipedia}

This week we return to the difficult and shameful topic of plantation slavery, but now the focus begins to shift to the Abolitionist movement, and the efforts of the heroic people who helped runaway slaves and worked to abolish the institution of slavery in the US. Though we have tried to avoid highly disturbing videos and sites, there is always the chance that something pertaining to this subject may be distressing, so please preview for your kids. If you have older children and want to explore the harsh reality of this topic further, there are many resources online.


The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross | The Cotton Economy and Slavery – This is a clip from a PBS series:

You can find the full episode here.


Life of a Plantation Slave – A very brief look at plantation slavery for kids:


Abolition Movement Ending Slavery – from Discovery Education:


America’s Journey Through Slavery: Opposing Slavery – This series (for kids) of short documentary videos explores the development of slavery in America, the conditions under which enslaved people lived and worked, and key members of the abolitionist movement. This is only part of the entire video, but is still helpful for kids:

You can find other clips from this series here.


The Abolitionists Part 1 – This is a PBS American Experience series, rated TV-PG, available to watch on YouTube:

Here are links to Part 2 and Part 3. You can also find shorter clips featuring individuals by looking at this list of American Experience Abolitionists videos.



Abolition: A History Mystery Activity – Recommended for grades 4-8.

Children and Cotton – This site has information for kids about the the cotton journey, from picking to working in cotton mills. There is also a page of quotes from enslaved people about their lives which is appropriate for children while still communicating the harsh life they were forced to endure.

Slaves’ Resistance on Southern Plantations: Selections from Slave Narratives – From the National Humanities Center, read first-hand accounts from former slaves who were interviewed years later. (These are more suited for older students and adults.)

Slave Life photo gallery – These photos are appropriate for most ages.


SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with any of the above mentioned websites, businesses, organizations, or individuals.