Baltimore, MD – January 17, 2023 – In a time where teaching Black History in schools is being deemed illegal in some states, one Black-owned company is offering the opportunity for people of all ages and cultures to learn about America’s history from the Black perspective through two unique experiential travel tours in June and August of this year.
According to Kim Poole, co-founder of the Teaching Artist Institute (TAI), a company that specializes in providing opportunities for artists to learn techniques for social transformation in partnership with TAI Tours, the Freedom Rides USA tour is going to be a unique and enlightening opportunity for participants. The tour will travel through 10 states along the Southeast via bus, hitting cities and sites where African-American history took place, giving travelers opportunities to explore the relevance of the Civil Rights era. Likewise, the Underground Railroad Excursion helps bring African-American history to life. It does this by teaching about and commemorating the unrelenting freedom fighters who served as scouting experts and conductors on the historic Underground Railroad.
“Black History is every day, and we have to prepare young people to continue writing that history,” shared Poole. “At TAI Tours, we believe that African-American history is a critical part of American history. Unfortunately, too many of our young people of all cultures, but particularly Black youth, don’t really know our history and the sacrifices that have been made to enjoy the freedoms we now have. Our goal through both the Freedom Rides Tour and the Underground Railroad Excursion is to bring a practical modern-day focus to history, with hands-on geography lessons,” Poole said.
The Freedom Rides Tour will go through key cities in 10 U.S. Southern states over seven days. These cities include Washington, DC; Richmond, VA; Greensboro, NC; Greensville, SC; Atlanta, GA; Jackson, MS; Selma and Birmingham, AL; New Orleans, LA; Little Rock, AR and Memphis, TN. The Freedom Rides Tour goes from June 11 thru June 17 and includes bus transportation leaving from Washington, DC, hotel accommodations, and entrance to select historical site visits. In addition, civil rights leaders, activists, and Black History experts from various cities are also encouraged to join the Freedom Rides Tour and share their individual experiences and historical information with participants.
Primarily created for and targeted to middle school and high school students, the Underground Railroad Excursion takes place August 4-7. It will travel through historical parts of Maryland, where Harriet Tubman was born and initially escaped to freedom. The Excursion is created to be an intergenerational experience that allows learning to take place beyond traditional social groupings. It includes experiential lessons in outdoor survival education, scouting, land navigation, and mariner arts. Participants will be transported through time and experience living history re-enactments, outdoor camping, colonial-era styled meal preparation and farming, kayaking, griot-styled scavenger hunts using the tactics and methods of the historic underground railroad.
“Through the exploration of the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman, we gleaned survival skills used by Tubman and their effectiveness in a modern context, which are key lessons that are actually as important today as they were in her day,” shared Poole. “These include awakening the art of survival, understanding team building, self-reflection and more. At TAI Tours, we believe that culture is the new currency, and we want to help share the many elements of the symbolic landscape and cultural narrative of the U.S., that is rooted in the experience of African American history, art forms and cultural tradition,” she continued. “Both the Freedom Rides Tour and the Underground Railroad Excursion will celebrate teachable moments in Black History, with an emphasis on creative communication,” said Poole.
Teaching Artists Institute and TAI Tours, the YMCA of Central Maryland and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, are current sponsors of the Freedom Rides Tour. However, additional sponsors are welcomed and encouraged for both events.
The cost to participate in the Freedom Rides Tour is $3,000 per person and the cost to participate in the Underground Railroad Excursion is $500 per person.
Freedom Rides 2023 – Apply to Be a Freedom Fighter in Training
For more information about the Teaching Artist Institute, the Freedom Rides Tour and the Underground Railroad Excursion, go to https://www.facebook.com/teachingartist. For more information about TAI Tours, go to TAITours.org. You can also contact Kim Poole of TAI Tours at 443/739-0941 or email her at email@example.com or Haki Ammi at 410-209-9687 or email him at Hakiammi@gmail.com.
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