To Be a Slave
by Julius Lester
This Newbery Honor Book personalizes the hardships and struggles of African-American slaves. The book contains a number of personal accounts from slaves and ex-slaves, who describe their experiences from the time they left Africa through the Civil War and into the early twentieth century.
To buy this book, click here or on the book cover.
Books by Julius Lester
- Comprehension Tests
Check your students' comprehension of To Be a Slave with Comprehension Test A, Comprehension Test B, Comprehension Test C (answer keys included).
Students can choose from six projects or complete the proposal form with their own project idea for To Be a Slave.
- Crossword Puzzle
After completing this crossword puzzle for To Be a Slave, students can explain the difference between an indentured servant and a slave.
- An Abolitionist Play
Students learn about five women abolitionists and are asked to write a one-act play that reflects the views of the women concerning the biracial makeup of the movement.
- Emancipation Proclamation
On January 1, 1863 President Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves. Read and analyze the entire speech with your students, as a whole class or a group activity.
- Famous Abolitionists
Share with your students reference articles on Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman.
- Harriet Brent Jacobs
Harriet Brent Jacobs (1813-1897) was a slave who wrote an autobiography. In this lesson, students read an excerpt from her autobiography and react to it.
- Indentured Servants
This lesson helps students to compare and contrast European American indentured servitude to African-American servitude.
- New Bedford Virtual Field Trip
Take your students on a virtual field trip through New Bedford, site of the Massachusetts Underground Railroad.
- The Underground Railroad
Students take a cyber-journey through the Underground Railroad the path to freedom for slaves in the 1850s.
Internet ResourcesAmerican Slave Narratives
Grade Levels: Intermediate, Middle, Secondary
These firsthand accounts came from former slaves who were interviewed by Works Progress Administration (WPA) writers and journalists from 1936-1938.
Grade Levels: Intermediate, Middle, Secondary
A comprehensive collection of resources on the slave trade, including slave accounts, the slave system, slave life, anti-slavery groups, and more.
Underground Railroad Virtual Journey
Grade Levels: Primary, Intermediate, Middle
Making choices of their own, students follow Harriet Tubman on one of her many freedom trips up the east coast.
Books by Julius LesterAckamarackus
Albidaro and the Mischievous Dream
And All Our Wounds Forgiven
Black Cowboy, Wild Horses
The Blues Singers: Ten Who Rocked the World
Do Lord Remember Me
Falling Pieces of the Broken Sky
From Slave Ship to Freedom Road
Further Tales of Uncle Remus
How Many Spots Does a Leopard Have?
The Knee-High Man and Other Tales
The Last Tales of Uncle Remus
Let's Talk About Race
Long Journey Home: Stories from Black History
Lovesong: Becoming a Jew
The Man Who Knew Too Much: A Moral Tale from the Baila of Zambia
The More Tales of Uncle Remus
Pharaoh's Daughter: A Novel of Ancient Egypt
Sam and the Tigers: A Retelling of Little Black Sambo
The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit
This Strange New Feeling
To Be A Slave
Two Love Stories
Uncle Remus: The Complete Tales
What a Truly Cool World
When Dad Killed Mom
When the Beginning Began: Stories About God, the Creatures, and Us
Who I Am
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