Hidden in Plain Sight
People planning to escape slavery had to be very careful. One word overheard
by the wrong people could spoil even the most carefully-made plans.
In order to keep their escapes secret, slaves used many other ways to talk
with others before and during their escapes.
To ordinary people, these forms of communication were very innocent. To escaping
slaves, they might mean the difference between life and death.
In this section, you can explore some of these secrets.
- You can find out how a simple song with hidden meanings helped escaping
slaves find the path to freedom in Follow the Drinking
- You can read about and listen to other songs escaping slaves used as signals
- You can investigate the theory that slaves used quilts as signals and maps
on their road to freedom in The Language of Quilts.
- You can find out about the language people involved in the Underground
Railroad used to keep their work secret in Language
of the Railroad.