Moving Towards Freedom - Issue Guide (Downloadable PDF)
This Historic Decisions issue guide, published by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, is based on research done in collaboration with the Charles F. Kettering Foundation. Historic Decisions issue guides foster the development of deliberative democratic skills through examining the difficult choices Americans faced in the past. The actions presented in these issue guides are based on ideas or proposals actively considered at the time the historic decision was made and do not reflect the views of the foundation, its directors, or its officers.
The Historic Decisions issue guides are designed to take important decisions from history and frame them in terms of the difficult choices people were confronted with. The goal of the guides is to allow students to connect with the difficulty and power of making such choices and encourage them to look at modern-day problems with the same lens and sense of agency. This guide is centered on the reconstruction period, an era comprised of a plan to right the wrongs of American enslavement and enfranchise the Black population of America. We decided it would be most appropriate to explore an opportunity to engage students in a process of critical thinking about rights, policies and opportunities for those who’ve been disenfranchised within a land proclaimed to be free.
This Historic Decisions issue guide presents the following three options for deliberation:
Option One: Ensure African Americans Can Fully Participate in Political Life
Option Two: Prioritize Educational and Economic Advancement for African Americans
Option Three: Focus on the Immediate Needs of Newly Freed African Americans