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Virtual Learning Journey: Slavery and Freedom

Picture of the Owens Thomas House

An exploration of antebellum Savannah through the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters

This virtual journey explores the complexities of slavery and freedom in antebellum Savannah through the lens of the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters. Students can learn about the connections between the institution of slavery and the global economy and discover how one city can teach us about society and culture before the Civil War. Key concepts are presented through interactive elements like primary source letters and images, navigable maps, videos, and a virtual walking tour.

Learning Objectives

• Explore the hidden lives of domestic servants enslaved by the Owens and Richardson families.
• Examine first-hand accounts of how enslaved people resisted efforts to dehumanize them and, in the process, attempted to form their own culture.
• Analyze primary documents detailing the different enslaved experiences and how they varied throughout the region.
• Engage in critical thinking with discussion questions that probe enduring understandings in social studies.
• Navigate coastal Georgia’s economy to learn about the life of an elite slaveholding family and the labor of their enslaved workers.
• Connect innovations like the cotton gin to the increased demand for enslaved labor and its effect on Georgia’s economy.
• Investigate Savannah’s complex and interconnected society as well as the surrounding legal system.
• Assess agricultural and structural systems of the time while creating models of cultural activities.

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