April Character Feature

This month's featured girl: Addy

From the American Girls Club Handbook:

Project One: Plan a Potluck Dinner

Members of Trinity A.M.E. Church welcomed newcomers with potluck dinners. Plan a potluck dinner with your own family and friends.
1) Invite your family and friends to a potluck dinner. Ask everyone to prepare a special dish to share. You may want to suggest that your guests prepare dishes Addy might have enjoyed, such as cornbread or applesauce.
2) You may want to make letter cookies to share (see below). If you have younger children at your dinner, use the cookies to show them how to spell words, just as Addy taught her mother to spell with dough.
3) Set the table with simple decorations such as flowers, fruit, or candles. Before you eat, give thanks for your food and for being together. You may want to talk about Addy's struggle to bring her family together in freedom. Remember, the best part of a potluck dinner is being together!

Make Letter Cookies
Ingredients: Flour, 1 stick pre-made cookie dough, butter or margarine to grease cookie sheets
Equipment: Butter knife, rolling pin, cookie sheets, waxed paper to grease cookie sheets, spatula
1) Sprinkle the flour on your work surface. Slice off a handful of dough, roll it into a ball, and place the ball in the center of your work surface. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough.
2) Roll the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thinck. Cut the dough into flat strips with the butter knife.
3) Use the strips to shape the letters L, O, V, E, just a Momma did. What else can you spell?
4) Grease the cookie sheet. Place the letter cookies on the sheet, at least 1/2 inch apart. Follow the directions on the cookie dough package for baking.

Did you know?
In Philadelphia, after a long day of school and work, Addy would sit down with Momma to teach her to read. Neither of them knew how to read before they came to freedom in the North because people in slavery were not allowed to read, write, or do arithmetic. One enslaved man remembered being whipped when his owner found out he knew arithmetic. He wasn't allowed to handle change or count money, either. Another African American girl remembered the stories her mother told about how she secretly learned to read. When the white children came home from school, she asked them questions about what they had learned that day, and she volunteered when they wanted to play school. After the Civil War ended, she became a teacher herself!

Project two: Make a Keepsake Necklace

Addy's cowrie shell necklace reminded her of the bravery and strength of her family's past. Make a keepsake necklace of your own.

You will need: small shell, button, bead, pebble, or other item with special meaning for you; Yarn, ribbon, or cord, about 24 inches long; scissors; white glue (possibly)

1) If your necklace item already has a hole in it, lace the yarn or cord through the hole and skip to step 5.
2) If your necklace item does not have a hole in it, you can attach it with a knot. To do this, cut off a piece of yarn or cord about 3 inches long. Tie a knot in the middle of the piece.
3) Squeeze a drop of glue near the top of the shell or necklace item. Press the knot of yarn onto the glue and let it dry.
4) Tie the loose ends of the knotted yarn onto the long piece of yarn. Be sure to tie them so that the necklace item hangs from the middle of the long piece of yarn.
5) Tie the ends of the necklace together. Be sure to tie your knot at the very end of the necklace so that it will slip easily over your head.

Did you know?
Do some clothes have a special meaning to you? For Addy, the pink dress the Miss Caroline gave her during her escape from slavery was a sign of her new life of freedom. In Philadelphia, with Momma's and Mrs. Ford's help, Addy dressed just like a fashionable city girl--right down to her elaborate underclothes! Addy's new clothes in freedom included:
1. A pair of white drawers that peeked out beneath her skirt
2. A chemise worn over her drawers
3. Knit stockings that she pulled up over her knees
4. A crinoline, a cage-like garment that made her skirt look full
5. A petticoat for even more fullness
6. A dress or blouse and skirt
7. A pair of cap-toed boots
8. A fashionable hat or snood to cover her hair

Want to know more?

Fiction books set in Addy's time:

"Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters" by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack
"Follow the Drinking Gourd" by Jeanette Winter
"Nettie's Trip South" by Ann Turner

Nonfiction books about Addy's time:
"Go Free or Die: A Story About Harriet Tubman" by Jeri Ferris
"If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad" by Ellen Levine
"Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad" by Jacquline L Tobin (recommended by Society member Sarah)

Movies set in Addy's time:
Follow the Drinking Gourd
Harriet Tubman, Antislavery Activist
The House of Dies Drear

Music from Addy's Time:
"Dixie" (The anthem of the Southern Confederacy)
"Follow the Drinking Gourd"
"Go Down Moses"

Special places to visit:

Stowe House
2950 Gilbert Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45206
Museum of the abolitionist movement and African American achievement

Harper's Ferry National Historical Park
Shenandoah Street
Harper's Ferry, WV 25425
The site of John Brown's raid to free the slaves in 1859