Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

WKU Cultural Excursion Provides Look at Underground Railroad

underground raill 300

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (10/21/13) - Dr. Saundra Ardrey, head of WKU’s Department of Political Science, organized a cultural excursion fall break for the African Experience classes. For the past five years, the department has co-sponsored a trip with InternationalStudent Office and English as a Second Language International to provide a deeper understanding of African American history in the United States.

During an Oct. 12 trip, a group of students visited the Rankin House in Ripley, Ohio. (Photo by Olivia Murphy, 10th grade student at South Warren High School)

“The Political Science Department leads programs with both domestic and international students in order to promote the goal of internationalization across campus. These programs provide opportunities to integrate different student constituencies and foster discussion and cross-cultural analysis. Internationalization is not just study abroad, it is also curricula and co-curricula activities,” said Dr. Roger Murphy, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. “Furthermore, it provides a unique format for international students to integrate with Americans and discuss political and cultural topics that might be too sensitive in another setting. Topics such as the Underground Railroad invite both American and non-American students to not only deal with dark issues of the past but also examine such issues as freedom, democracy and economic exploitation in a current setting. International students are often surprised that museums and memorials are dedicated to negative aspects of American history and
culture, which is a starting point for further discussion and analysis. Finally, for all students, such programs are a lot of fun as well.”

On Oct. 12, Dr. Murphy led an excursion to Ohio to give 50 students a first-hand look at the history of the Underground Railroad (UGRR). The group left Bowling Green early on Saturday morning headed for the National UGRR Freedom Center in Cincinnati. The bus was transformed into a rolling classroom as Dr. Murphy explained the background of the UGGR and the role that the state of Kentucky played in it. The group learned that the UGRR is one of the most powerful and sustained multiracial human rights movement in world history. Kentucky was central to the history of the UGRR because of its northern limit, the Ohio River. The river represented a more than three hundred mile boundary between slavery and freedom. Despite myths regarding the “mildness” of Kentucky slavery, 600 to 800 enslaved African Americans escaped from or through Kentucky each year between 1810 and 1860.

The group arrived at the Freedom Center around 10 a.m. This $110 million facility stands as the nation’s newest monument to freedom. It brings to life the importance – and relevance – of struggles for freedom around the world and throughout history, including today. Made up of three buildings that symbolize the cornerstones of freedom – courage, cooperation and perseverance – the freedom center’s curving architecture reflects the winding river and the often-changing path to freedom. The story of freedom is woven through the heroic legacy of the Underground Railroad and the American struggle to abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people.

The next stop on the trip was The Rankin House, a National Historic Landmark, in Ripley, Ohio. Here, Dr. Murphy described the significance of the Rankin House. John Rankin, a Presbyterian minister and educator who devoted much of his life to the antislavery movement, moved from Kentucky to Ripley in 1822 and later built a house on Liberty Hill overlooking the town, the river and the Kentucky shore. From there, he signaled escaping slaves with a lantern on a flagpole and provided them shelter. From 1825 to 1865 Rankin and his wife, Jean, with their Brown County neighbors, sheltered more than 2,000 slaves escaping to freedom, with as many as 12 escapees being hidden in the Rankin home at one time.

“I only had a brief introduction about slavery in my high school history class,” said Suya Tan, Chinese scholar from Jiangsu Province in China. “After this trip, I felt and learned more things from the word FREE.”

Contact: Diana Howard, International Outreach Coordinator with International Student Office, (270) 745-4587.

SurfKY News
Information provided by WKU News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

State Ag Commissioner to Attend ‘Grand Opening’ at Nona’s Market

OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/23/14) – Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will join other state and local officials on… Read More

Daviess County Public Library Plans Summer Events

OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/24/14) — Daviess County Public Library is planning the following reading events this summer: June… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 22, 2014 10448

18 EPA Earth Day Events Take Action on…

in News by EPA
April 23, 2014 5937

Dawson Springs Letter Carrier Sentenced…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 24, 2014 5738

Meet The Hopkins County Magistrate…

in News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 22, 2014 4847

Three Juveniles Charged in Connection…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 21, 2014 4258

Fire Destroys Old Tobacco Building in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 22, 2014 2825

Madisonville Woman Charged with Internet…

in Top Stories by Christopher Rogers
April 24, 2014 2547

UPDATE: Four Injured in North Main…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 23, 2014 1680

MPD Detectives Investigate Hanson…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
April 24, 2014 1079

Two Injured in Three Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Martha Clark
April 21, 2014 647

Hanson Student Among 25 Receiving…

in Top Stories by Abbie Darst

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 21, 2014 4166

'Heath & Molly' Benefit Concert…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 21, 2014 2209

Owensboro Chamber Plans First ‘Lunch…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 22, 2014 1394

DCPS Among Top 100 Nationally for Finance…

in News by Lora Wimsatt
April 22, 2014 1157

New Hwy. 54 Traffic Light to Go Into…

in News by Keith Todd
April 22, 2014 391

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art Plans Exhibit

in Top Stories by Mary Hood

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 22, 2014 4847

Three Juveniles Charged in Connection…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 21, 2014 4258

Fire Destroys Old Tobacco Building in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 21, 2014 2413

One Injured in Rosewood Wreck

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 22, 2014 2016

Muhlenberg Last Day of School

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 22, 2014 1643

Parsons Named Student of the Month

in Top Stories by Joyce Riggs

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)

Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03