Harriet Tubman visits Landrum Middle School

Landrum Middle School sixth grade teacher Mr. Henderson is surrounded by his students at McDowell’s presentation about Harriet Tubman in the school’s gymnasium. (Photo by Anne Regan)

Landrum Middle School sixth grade teacher Mr. Henderson is surrounded by his students at McDowell’s presentation about Harriet Tubman in the school’s gymnasium. (Photo by Anne Regan)

In recognition of Black History Month, Landrum Middle School’s student body of 226, from sixth through eighth grade, attended a reenactment performed by local resident, Karen McDowell.

School Librarian Angela Moore said, “We are delighted our students have this opportunity and are excited about what Karen is doing for us today.”

McDowell has a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater arts, from Limestone College. A multi-talented performer, her credits include numerous theatrical productions including her debut performance in Tryon in “Nunsense” in 1994, reviving her role as Sister Hubert in 1998.

School Principal Tucker Hamrick introduced the program by simply asking, “Who am I?”

With a backdrop picture of a slave cabin, a wooden rocker, and the theme from ‘Roots,’ the stage was set for the entrance of legendary slave, Harriet Tubman.

McDowell performed her original creation, in period costume, and got the students’ attention with her powerful voice. Taking the life of Harriet Tubman from 1821 as a slave child through adulthood and her escape from slavery to the north, McDowell recounted how Tubman returned numerous times to help more than 300 slaves escape to freedom.

McDowell then introduced herself as a Landrum Library librarian saying, “I’m bringing my program to you to get you interested in research at the Landrum Library on other famous African Americans.”

She challenged the students with the question, “What do we always have with us?” Getting many answers and stumping the students, sixth grader Sarah Martin raised her hand and said, “Knowledge.” “Yes,” said McDowell, “READ! READ! READ! You cannot cut off knowledge.”

– Submitted by Anne Regan

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