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  • Akil Clark

Spark works with author and actress to bring our April Book of the Month to life

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

When we started The Spark Foundation, in addition to helping students build up their home libraries with culturally diverse books, we envisioned providing educational experiences that complement and expand on the books we provide, thinking outside the box and connecting with partners around the country to create something that we believe is truly unique.

We are excited to announce that with the help of the fourth-grade teaching staff at Moulton and River Woods elementary schools, The Spark Foundation will conduct our first three-part educational program around our April Book of the Month, A Free Woman on God's Earth: The True Story of Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman, The Slave Who Won Her Freedom, by Jana Laiz and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes.

The book tells the true story of Mumbet, who was born into slavery and was the first enslaved individual to challenge the legality of slavery after the revolutionary war and win her freedom in a Massachusetts court of law. Despite her historic story, she is often left out of textbooks.

The Spark Foundation's three-part educational program will consist of the following phases:

1. Provide 170 signed copies of the book A Free Woman on God's Earth, which students will read with their classroom teachers.

2. Bring the students of Moulton and River Woods elementary together for a joint Zoom visit with Jana Laiz, writer-in-residence at Herman Melville’s Massachusetts Home, Arrowhead. During the author’s visit, Jana will explain the process of researching and writing Mumbet’s story and answer questions from the students.

3. Present a theatrical, historical reenactment of Mumbet’s story, a one-women-play performed and written by Tammy Denease, museum educator, actress, and playwright.

We are excited to bring Mumbet's powerful and important story to life with this one-of-a-kind opportunity.

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