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Friday, February 1, 2013

Pit Schools

Light in the Darkness: A Story About How Slaves Learned in Secret by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome is a beautiful masterpiece that tells about 'pit schools'.  
Pit schools were large holes dug deep in the ground and disguised with sticks and brush.  During the night slaves would slip away from their plantation and meet at the 'school' to learn to read and write from another, literate slave.
The paintings are done with pencil, watercolors, and colored pencils.  The show of the light and darkness, the shadowy story of the 'pit schools' is brilliant.
I'd never heard of 'pit schools' before, and it gave me chills to read about the lengths a person would go to for education.  Which shouldn't surprise me, but this was just one more new abomination from America's dark past.  
James E. Ransome's paintings are striking and so very detailed.  Watch a Light in the Darkness come to life through video here.

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