Underground Railroad Reenactment Returns to Harriet Tubman Blue Ribbon School

For ninth consecutive year, interactive performance takes students on journey to freedom, alongside school’s iconic namesake

On two consecutive Fridays (February 28 and March 7), the Harriet Tubman Blue Ribbon School hosted an historic reenactment of the antislavery icon’s life story and the journey along the Underground Railroad that led thousands of escaped slaves to freedom, as a way to convey the legacy of the school’s namesake to its students. Featuring two hour-long performances each day, beginning at 9:30AM and 1:30PM the reenactment, drew parents and community members to participate in the program.

“Each year, through this annual reenactment, we draw our students’ attention not only to a powerful chapter of our nation’s history, but also to the outstanding bravery and compassion of Harriet Tubman and her fellow abolitionists,” said Assistant Superintendent Mitchell Center. “By literally walking alongside these ‘real-life characters’ as they perform heroic acts and put themselves at personal risk for the betterment of humanity, our children learn lessons that go well beyond American history. In the Newark Public Schools, we believe that this type of hands-on character education program empowers our children and instills pride and good citizenship in them, as they journey through their own lives.”

Since its launch in 2006, the annual event has progressively grown and expanded in scope to an elaborate “living exhibit,” engaging the students and their families through an interactive performance. Beginning in the principal’s office and ending in the cafeteria, the production traveled across the school building, involving the students and allowing them to be a part of the journey to freedom, together with Harriet Tubman and her fellow slavery abolitionists.