Praise for the Project
The Crafting Freedom Materials Project
"Wow, [this] new online resource is awesome!!! I can't wait to incorporate the resources in my lessons. I have already shared the link with my co-workers."
"This website helped me engage fourth graders in a meaningful lesson about an African American who found freedom through creativity and determination. The lesson was insightful, engaging and thorough. Through this resource my students learned about a powerful man and a positive role model who is not often recognized."
"I did find the material to be a WEALTH of knowledge, and passed it on to my cohorts for their perusal..I cannot WAIT to…be able to interweave these activities into ours next year, though we are a private school, we still follow the same general curriculum as our public school counterparts, are so appreciative of all!"
"My students especially loved the short web videos, because they really brought the lives of these freedom crafters to life in a powerful way. What was most gratifying was that after seeing the Harriet Jacobs video , several asked if I had copies of her slave narrative. I did and they were soon gone!"
A fascinating collection of stories from a diverse group of men and women whose impact on American History is unquestionable. Though initially conceived as supplements for K-12 educators, I have found that the materials reflect a strong research-based knowledge coupled with a sound historical framework which beautifully illustrates the myriad of African American experiences in the United States.
"I'm very honored to see the website's level of historical analysis and commitment to the lives of under-represented and highly influential people in US history, as well as to the teachers and conveyors of this important knowledge. This website reaches educators across the country, teaching early elementary through high school and beyond. Utilizing the settings and accomplishments of nineteenth century African Americans presented on this CF website, teachers help students develop a more coherent and complex understanding of American history and our connections to the rest of the world…The Crafting Freedom's website employs primary sources created by these and other nineteenth century African Americans; the primary sources themselves most effectively convey the wisdom, experiences and knowledge our students and we need to know. The website itself is accessible and easy to navigate, complete with intelligent lessons and useful links. Thank you!"
"Laurel Sneed and her team have been working hard for two decades to bridge the gap between the expanding scholarship on African American history and the growing need for exciting and well-tested teaching materials at the elementary and secondary school level. As a college professor who shared these concerns, I had a chance to work with hundreds of teachers from around the country who visited North Carolina to take part in intensive "Crafting Freedom" workshops over many summers. I saw the enthusiasm of the teachers and the commitment of the staff for bringing this national project to life.
With the Civil War Sesquicentennial Anniversary years stretching before us, I cannot think of a better time for this new Crafting Freedom Website to appear. It allows students who have already learned about President Lincoln, and perhaps Frederick Douglass as well, to delve more deeply into the lives of creative and imaginative African Americans, both enslaved and free, constrained but not destroyed by the debilitating system of racial slavery that had been in place for so long, infecting the entire country.
Good history teaching at all levels involves access to true and engaging individual stories, as reflected in books, letters, and pictures. Crafting Freedom makes use of the impressive library resources of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, available through its impressive "Documenting the South" Project. The rich Website offers up-to-date bibliographical information and clear lesson plans to assist students and teachers. Most importantly, its engaging illustrations and video clips will captivate young students… I hope that thousands of teachers across the country and around the world will spend time exploring this Website in depth and getting to know these nine remarkable individuals. Then they can use Crafting Freedom to introduce their students to an important thread in the American past."