The Navajo people, who call themselves the Din, are the largest tribe of Native Americans in the United States. When they arrived from Canada, they settled in Colorado. In 1863, they were forced to march on the Long Walk to the Four Corners: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Since then, their lives have changed dramatically. The Long Walk was a terrible chapter, but their history is one of strength and survival.
The Underground Railroad was not a transportation system with metal tracks and whistling trains that zipped along a grid of tracks through tunnels below the ground. Instead, this system was an organized network of people who - in utmost secrecy - helped others escape the bonds of slavery. The routes to freedom were filled with danger, but the risks were worth it. Climb aboard to travel back in time and find out how this system of passengers, conductors, and stationmasters saved thousands of lives and helped change the nation.
The nightmare for enslaved Africans began on the Middle Passage - the journey across the ocean to America. Chained together by their hands and feet, the people were crammed into a ships dark belly, sometimes for weeks. When they arrived, they were sold at auction like so much cattle. Then, for generations, they faced bondage at the hands of cruel masters, forced to work sunup to sundown planting and harvesting crops, cleaning houses, or performing other tasks that would boost the white mans profits. Refused basic civil rights and often torn from their families, the slaves looked for ways to find freedom and better their lives. Flight was risky, even with the help of the Underground Railroad. For many, it was the only option.
Free at last! Hopeful African Americans began the long journey to build their lives from scratch as U.S. law declared all slaves free in 1865. But many whites fought bitterly against change. Signs above water fountains, restrooms, and other public places clearly separated WHITES from COLOREDS, while the Ku Klux Klan terrorized the night. Leaders like Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, A. Philip Randolph, and Martin Luther King, Jr. stood up to the ugly reality of racism in America. Laws and hearts slowly changed to make the American Dream a possibility for all of its citizens. Today, the United States celebrates the rich history, music, and art of the black community. But with holdovers of hatred, pride, and prejudice, has the country achieved true equality?
The Cherokees lived primarily in the southeastern United States as farmers and hunters. As white settlers pushed deeper and deeper onto their lands, the Cherokees signed numerous treaties that surrendered more of their land in exchange for the right to live peacefully. The Cherokees even embraced many white ways, such as writing a constitution based on the U.S. Constitution and creating an alphabet, in an attempt to blend in. However, nothing they did was ever enough, and all their efforts finally led to one shattering conclusion: the Trail of Tears.
With the sole exception of the Sioux, the Cheyenne are perhaps the best known of all the Plains Indians. Famous for their fearless fighting qualities, the fought a series of unforgettable battles with the U.S. Army and white settlers seeking to seize their lands and alter their lifestyles. From 1856 to 1979, they met the white interloper with unparalleled horsemanship and a fighting ferocity rarely recorded in American military annals before or since. Against the irrepressible surge of Americas westward expansion in the 1800s, Cheyenne warriors fought and died for the land they loved. They claimed a place in history at the Powder River, the Rosebud, and the Little Big Horn. In the end, they lost their lands, but they went down fighting. They were and are vastly deserving of their nickname, the Fighting Cheyennes.
Comanche. The very word itself sent shivers down the backs of white settlers and other Native American tribes alike. The Comanches were the most feared tribe on the Southern Great Plains. They were superb horsemen and fierce fighters, and the combination was virtually unbeatable. For years, the Comanches held dominance over a vast area of territory called Comancheria. No one dared venture into Comancheria. Those who did seldom returned. Who were the Comanches? Where did they come from? What was life like in a Comanche camp, for both the Comanches and their captives? What happened to break their grip on Comancheria? The answers to these and other questions are both surprising and fascinating.
When European explorers came to the New World, one of the first tribes of Native Americans they encountered was the Lenape. Also called the Delaware Indians, these people were respected by their neighbors, bound by family, and lived in harmony with their natural world. This is their story of their fascinating way of life, nearly lost to the settlers from across the sea.
Most of the people who worked on the Underground Railroad were not well-known, but many stood out and became famous. The workers came from different races, occupations, and all walks of life. Some spread the word about the injustice of slavery through writing or lectures. Some volunteered behind the scenes, sewing clothes and donating goods to help the runaways. Others risked their lives daily, leading fugitives through swamps and forests and past slave catchers to freedom. Those who were caught were fined, jailed, or even executed. But they did not give up until freedom was won for all.
Life in Spain was peaceful and simple for Rifka and her family, until Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand made a new decision for the country. Eager to bring the kingdoms closer, the royals felt everyone should share the same religion. Jews and Muslims were forced to convert-or leave. Explore Rifka's world as she, her brother, and her parents, decide to leave their homeland behind and head into the unknown. Along the way, you will meet the cloaked familiars, cruel men determined to get confessions no matter what they have to do, on the orders of the teenaged king and queen. Spain, in all its beauty, will never be the same after this, and Rifka's family will bring you along on the journey.