- Friends of Negro Spirituals is a Bay Area group whose goals are the
preservation of the Negro Spirituals.
Our educational forums provide educational information and community
singing to the attendees.
On Sunday, November 13, 2005, 2: 30 PM - 4:30 PM, Friends of Negro
Spirituals and the San Francisco Public Library/African-American
Center will present an account of the compelling American slavery
inspired Underground Railroad story in a program called Amazing
Journeys: Following the North Star on The Underground Railroad.
The program will feature historian and professional musician
Vulindlela Wobogo and the courageous Underground Railroad conductor,
Harriet Tubman, portrayed by noted performance artist and
professional storyteller Mary J. Kelly.
With old Spirituals and striking visual aids, the presenters will
discuss and engage the audience in experiences of slaves seeking
freedom, underground conductors and daring people and homes known as
The Underground Railroad's stations.
The free event will take place in the Koret Auditorium [Lower level]
of The San Francisco Main, Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco,
CA (Civic Center BART).
Wobogo is a former Professor of African-American Music and History at
San Francisco State University and an author and Mary J. Kelly, a
published playwright and a highly qualified Theatre Arts and
Students of all grades and the general public are invited to be a
part of this FREE event.
The historic Underground Railroad, consisting of an estimated 3200
largely "undercover workers," guided an unknown number of Black
slaves escaping to The Promised Land. Spirituals and "The Friend of
a friend" were among the secret passwords used in communications
among the workers to prevent detection by protectors of slavery. The
Underground Railroad included free Blacks, former slaves such as
Harriet Tubman, and whites who were living in slave and "free" states
and Canada. Workers were known to each other as "conductors"
or "stationmasters" or "pilots," each providing a specialized form of
aid to fleeing slaves or "passengers."
The activities of The Underground Railroad were scary, dangerous, and
a major crime that carried stiff penalties. Detection was forever
possible, considering that paid spies, professional slave catchers,
sheriffs, and slave owners, were always on the alert
for and in hot pursuit of the runaways. Yet The Underground Railroad
gave thousands of slaves safe passage to freedom.
Join us to learn about one of America's most daring stories-The
For more information, call Sam Edwards at (415) 563 4316 or Stewart
Shaw, Librarian, African American Center, at (415) 557 4518