African American Experiences in the Era of the Civil War

Charleston, South Carolina provides an excellent setting to teach students about several key concepts in the study of slavery and freedom in the United States. In this unit focused on the experiences of African Americans, and primarily the slave population in Charleston and the surrounding area, students will learn: • There was a wide variety of experiences of enslavement before and during the Civil War. • The Civil War had a direct impact on the experiences of the enslaved, including their attempts to achieve freedom. • Slavery included dual dynamics of control and resistance – slave owners and slave society tried to control the enslaved, who in turn demonstrated a wide variety of forms of resistance. During the Civil War, new opportunities for resistance developed. • Enslaved and free African Americans resisted slavery in ways that sometimes helped the Union army, although their actions were not always supported by the Union army.

Fort Sumter National Monument
Organization Affiliation
National Park Service
Lesson Plan Subjects