Exploring Abraham Galloway with “The Fire of Freedom”
A Play by Howard Craft, Performed by Mike Wiley
April 11, 7 pm – 9 pm | Carolina Theatre in Durham | Hosted by the Kenan Institute for Ethics
K-12 Teachers Can Receive CEUs for Attending
K-12 teachers attending the performance and post-show discussion of “The Fire of Freedom” on Monday April 11 can complete the following steps to receive .5 CEUs from Carolina K-12:
- READ & WATCH (Before or after the performance): This NC man was one of the most important Civil War leaders, but he was erased from history for 100 years
- READ (before of after the performance): Abraham Galloway, from Cartridge Box to Ballot Box
- ATTEND the performance and post-show discussion of “The Fire of Freedom”
- REVIEW Carolina K-12’s Tips for Tackling Sensitive History/Controversy in the Classroom.
- TEACH about Abraham Galloway in your classroom, using either Carolina K-12’s resources (see below) or your own lesson
- REFLECT & WRITE: After completing these steps, to receive .5 CEUs, e-mail CarolinaK12@unc.edu with the following information:
- In the subject line write: CEU Request for Fire of Freedom
- Include your name, grade/subject taught, and school at which you teach.
- Write one or more paragraphs reflecting on the life of Abraham Galloway and how he represents the important themes of resistance and agency, as well as why these are important themes to elevate in your classroom. Also share how you integrated instruction about Galloway and related themes into your classroom, including what worked well and the impact it had on students.
Upon receipt of this information, Carolina K-12 will e-mail your CEU form (within 3 business days.)
Curricular Resources from Carolina K-12
Carolina K-12 believes that it is essential that teachers learn, openly discuss and responsibly teach about our nation’s shared “hard history” to ensure students understand the implications of our past, their direct connections to our present, and are empowered to address the challenges of the future. Our “Teaching Hard History” resources encourage educators to critically examine and reconsider aspects of our past and present in a way that focuses on hope, resistance, Black & indigenous agency, resilience, empowerment, and reconciliation. Abraham Galloway is a prime example of how to elevate these important themes in the K-12 classroom. Click here to access an introductory module on strategies for teaching “hard history.” Additional resources and programs are available here.
For enslaved people throughout the history of North Carolina and America, freedom was not something that was simple or gained overnight. And while we often think of slavery in only a binary (that people were either enslaved or they were free) below the surface of the brutal and inhumane period of slavery, there was more complexity as well as community. From the enslaved people who sought and/or defined freedom for themselves, to those free and enslaved who assisted freedom seekers in escaping, to the rich and complex communities that were formed between enslaved and free people, a wholly accurate understanding of this period must include attention to the various ways Black people strove to experience varied concepts of freedom through their individual and collective agency, resistance, and resilience. In this lesson, students will gain an overview of the various ways freedom was sought across North Carolina by focusing on the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom (NTF) sites located across North Carolina, as well as the NC African American Heritage Commission’s Freedom Roads Trail. In a rotating stations activity, students will specifically explore: River Runaways; The Great Dismal Swamp; Edenton & Colonial Park; The Cape Fear Region (including Abraham Galloway); and Freedom and Resistance Through Culture, Intellect & Identity.
Before and during the Civil War, Black people were fully engaged in the fight for their own freedom. In this unit, students will explore how many enslaved people and free Blacks – men, women, and children – contributed to the fight for their freedom in numerous ways. Through the exploration of Document Sets (each inclusive of readings, primary sources, video, art, etc.), students can explore four particular areas of Black contributions and experiences in the fight for freedom, including: United States Colored Troops (USCT), Black Naval Service, Black Spies (including Abraham Galloway!), and Black Women During the Civil War. As a culminating project, students will write and contribute to an 1864 issue of Frederick Douglass’s Paper, reflecting what they have learned.
North Carolina’s 35th USCT
During the period of the Civil War, many enslaved people and free Blacks engaged in the fight for their freedom in numerous ways, including service in the Union army. They put their lives at risk repeatedly to first earn the right to fight, and then on the battlefield itself, where they demonstrated talent and commitment. After the Union occupation in New Bern, NC, freedom seekers flocked to the area and established a vibrant community of Black people engaged in the fight for universal freedom. This included the formation of the First North Carolina Colored Volunteers, to eventually become the 35th United States Colored Troops (USCT.) In this activity, students will build upon their understanding of USCT with a specific look at the formation and contributions of the 1st NCCV/35th USCT. They will culminate their understanding by researching a figure connected to this regiment (including Abraham Galloway) and will create a design for a public installation honoring and commemorating the service of the 1st NCCV/35th USCT.
A study guide from Mike Wiley Productions for the play.
Additional Readings & Media
- The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War, book by David Cecelski
- For additional readings from David Cecelski, visit https://davidcecelski.com
- Mike Wiley Productions “The Fire of Freedom” (promotional excerpt) https://youtu.be/p1IgvLRi3vc
- For more on Mike Wiley’s work, visit http://mikewileyproductions.com/
- Abraham Galloway is the Black figure from the Civil War you should know about (WUNC)
- Abraham Galloway, from Cartridge Box to Ballot Box (article)
- Abraham Galloway, An American Story (video)
- Abraham Galloway And The Slaves’ Civil War With Author David Cecelski (audio interview with David Cecelski)
- Abraham Galloway, ‘a true freedom fighter,’ honored with roadside marker (article)