Drinking Gourd


This long-handled hollowed-out gourd was used for scooping water. But its shape was also a symbol of hope for the enslaved African Americans.

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"The drinking gourd" was the name given the constellation of stars known as the Big Dipper, which points to the North Star--the star runaways used to guide them to the free states. The song "Follow the Drinking Gourd" contains "instructions" for enslaved people planning an escape.


Listen to escape stories of enslaved people

audioLucy Delaney

Ship Image

Image of Henry Box Brown
*Henry Box Brown

* Think about it

What other instructions can you find or hear in this song?

When listening to these


The Henry Ford ~ http://www.TheHenryFord.org