Follow the Drinking Gourd

The Power of African American Music to Inspire! - The African American Influence in the Concert Hall

The Unknown Harriet Tubman

Titans of Song - A Musical Tribute to Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson

On The Freedom Trail


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Titans Timeline


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LINKS -  The Marian Anderson Historical Society runs the Marian Anderson Residence/Museum, 762 S. Marian Anderson Way (Martin Street), and Birthplace, 1833 Marian Anderson Place (Webster Street), both in South Philadelphia. They can be toured by appointment. 215-732-9505. - Marian Anderson left her personal papers, including photographs, letters, music scores, programs and sound recordings, to the University of Pennsylvania Library. This virtual exhibition, curated by Nancy Shawcross, is a treasure trove on her life and career. – The West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance runs the Paul Robeson House, 4951 Walnut St., where Robeson spent his last years with his sister, Marian, following the death of his wife, Eslanda. Tours of the West Philadelphia rowhouse are by appointment, 215-747-4675. - In addition to its own material on Robeson, the Princeton Public Library site offers extensive links to others, such as the FBI’s, which details 2,680 documents that came out of a Freedom of Information Act inquiry into FBI investigations of Robeson and Eslanda from the 1940s through the 1960s. - The PBS series, “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow,” which showed how the legacy of slavery was perpetuated through government-sanctioned racial oppression and segregation, aired in 2002. But the site is rich in information and resources, including lesson plans and student activities for middle school and high school. It links to the Jim Crow History site, which offers more information and ideas for teachers, - From the site of ArtsEdge, the National Arts and Education Network, lesson plans for grades K-4 stemming from  “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” the song used to guide slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Subjects taught: language arts, social studies, visual arts, music and dance. - More ideas for teaching grades 1-4 using “Follow the Drinking Gourd” from the New Jersey State Museum Planetarium and Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium. Subjects taught: astronomy, social studies, music. This site links to  which provides information about gourds - from when to plant them to how to dry them. - The Peter Mott House, a stop on the Underground Railroad, is run by the Lawnside Historical Society. It’s located at 26 Kings Court in Lawnside, an historically African American municipality in Camden County, and is open for tours Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. 856-546-8850.




(Books for younger readers marked with an asterisk)


Paul Robeson: Artist and Citizen, edited and with an introduction by Jeffrey C. Stewart, Rutgers University Press and the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, 1998.


Paul Robeson, by Martin Bauml Duberman, Knopf, 1988.


Here I Stand, autobiography of Paul Robeson, Othello Associates, 1958; Beacon Press, 1970.


Paul Robeson’s Last Days in Philadelphia, by Charlotte Turner Bell, Dorrance, 1986.


My Lord, What a Morning, An Autobiography of Marian Anderson, Viking, 1956.


Marian Anderson: A Singer’s Journey, by Allan Keiler. Scribner, 2000.


*Paul Robeson: A Voice to Remember, by Patricia and Frederick McKissack, Enslow, 2001. Interest level: K-3.


*Paul Robeson, by Nick Healy, Raintree, 2003, Interest level: grades 3-5.


*Paul Robeson: Actor, Singer, Political Activist, by David K. Wright, Enslow, 1998. Interest level: young adult.


*When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson, by Pam Munoz Ryan with illustrations by Brian Selznick, Scholastic Press, 2002. Interest level: K-3.


*Marian Anderson: A Great Singer, by Patricia and Frederick McKissack, Enslow Publishers, 2001. Interest level: K-3.


*What I Had Was Singing: The Story of Marian Anderson, by Jeri Ferris, Carolrhoda Books, 1994. Interest level: grades 3-6.


*Marian Anderson: Journey to Freedom, by James Meadows, Child’s World, 2001. Interest level; grades 3-6.


*The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Civil Rights, Russell Freedman, Clarion, 2004. Interest level: grades 5-8.


*Marian Anderson: Singer and Humanitarian, by Andrea Broadwater, Enslow, 2000. Interest level: young adult.





“Here I Stand,” on Paul Robeson, American Masters Series, produced by WNET Channel 13, 1999, available at Free Public Library of Philadelphia.


“Marian Anderson: The Story of the Voice That Broke Barriers,” written by Juan Williams, 1991, produced by WETA, Washington, available at Free Public Library of Philadelphia.

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