A story from every point of Liberty's crown.
Inspired by the tales told to her by her grandmother,
Anne Pasquale decided to create a program based on the stories of the
women who made us Americans. Through folk and factual tales, this
program helps children celebrate their cultural diversity as well as
their common heritage. Whether their ancestors arrived here by ocean
liner or slave ship, or crossed a land bridge as the Indians did some
thousand years ago, they are reminded that they all are Americans.
Liberty Belles invites them to take the journey their
did. To be part of the voyage. To follow their ancestors' steps as they
bid goodbye to their homelands and come to escape famine, war, and
prejudice, or are abducted and enslaved, or are lured by tales of gold,
and finally make a fresh start in a strange new country called America.
- To instill pride and curiosity in one's own and other Americans' cultural and ancestral backgrounds.
- To emphasize the shared American immigrant experience and encourage tolerance.
- To discuss women as powerful historical figures and bring to light several American heroines.
- An African tribe located in Ghana. Harriett
Tubman's great great grandfather was said to have been an Ashanti
- Drinking Gourd
- A term the African culture used when
referring to the constellation of the Big Dipper.
- Espinel, Luisa
- The daughter of a Mexican immigrant. Her
father Federico Ronstadt migrated from Sonora in 1885 to learn the
trade of a carriage maker and formed the locally famous Club
Filarmonico. The aunt of the famous pop singer Linda Ronstadt, this
woman was yet another Ronstadt superstar: having studied in Spain and
Mexico she made a career of singing the songs, dancing the folkloric
dances and telling the stories of her Spanish heritage. Later in life
she would publish Caciones de me Padre (Songs of my Father), a family
treasure which would then later be handed down and re-released by her
- Ellis Island
- The site of a former Naval arsenal that
became an immigrant reception center, located at the southernmost tip
- An Hispanic celebration.
- A person who migrates or moves from another
country and sets up permanent residence.
- Kente Cloth
- Colorful cloth of the Ashanti People.
- Lazarus, Emma
- The young Russian woman who wrote "The New
Colossus," the poem which lies at the base of the Statue of Liberty and
begins "Give me your tired, your poor..."
- Freedom from control, interference, obligation,
- The flat sandstone used by the Mexicans to grind
corn or wheat.
- Mott, Clara
- A fictional Quaker character drawn from the
lives of various Quaker women such as Prudence Crandell, Laura M.
Towne, and Sarah F. Smiley, who devoted their lives to the education of
African-Americans during a time prior to and during the Civil war, when
strict laws were in place that would imprison or cause harm to anyone
who did so.
- Statue of Liberty
- A gift from France dedicated in 1886,
this famous lady stands 151 feet and 1 inch high in Manhattan's harbor,
and lights the way for countless Americans.
- Tubman, Harriet
- The very brave African-American woman
who escaped to freedom from a Maryland plantation in 1849 and, one year
later, assumed the position of conductor on the Underground Railroad (a
series of paths and hiding places, run by white and African-American
abolitionists, that led slaves out of the South across to freedom in
the North). Despite the $40,000 reward slave owners offered for her
capture, Miss Tubman during her career was often referred to as
"General Tubman" and "Moses" because of her daring rescues, and she led
some 300 slaves, including her own parents, to freedom.
- Vanelli, Theresa
- An Italian immigrant whose father was
an innkeeper and whose mother died when Theresa was only three years
old. She journeyed to America in 1902 and wed a Mr. Angelo Sauro in
1903. Her marriage was pre-arranged -- she had known Angelo for only
three days before being married to him for 75 years. She was a devout
Catholic, a fine storyteller, and a wonderful grandmother. Anne
Pasquale is her granddaughter.
Questions for Discussion and Classroom Activities
- To illustrate how difficult life might have been for the first
Americans, ask one student to communicate with another English-speaking
student using only gibberish.
- Pose the question: How many of you have ever moved from
another state, country, or neighborhood? List difficulties and benefits
of the transition. Compare that with the slaves' or immigrants'
- Pose the question: How many students are American-born
citizens? If some are not, have those from a foreign land describe
their first impressions and/or expectations of American life.
- Have all the students bring in an article of clothing, a
story, and a favorite family dish from their culture of origin for a
"Classroom Cultural Day."
Davison, Michael Worth, ed. Everyday Life Through The Ages. New York: Reader's Digest
Hamilton, Virginia. The People Could Fly. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985
Hartmamm, Edward G. American Immigration. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co., 1979
McGovern, Ann. Wanted Dead Or Alive: The True Story Of Harriet Tubman. New York: 1965
Morrison, Joan, and Zabusky, Charlotte Fox. American Mosaic. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980
Patterson, Lillie. Meet Miss Liberty. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1962
Ronstadt, Edward F. Borderman (Memoirs of Federico Jose Maria Rondstadt). New Mexico: The University of New Mexico Press, 1993
Sauro, Alfred. Nana and Papa. An unpublished work
Selleck, Linda B. The Gentle Invaders (Quaker Women Educators and Racial Issues During the Civil War and Reconstruction). Richmond, IN: Friends United Press, 1995
Shapiro, Mary J. Ellis Island. New York:Macmillan Publishing Co., 1991
Sterling, Dorothy. The Story of Harriet Tubman Freedom Train. New York, Scholastic Inc., 1954
Williams, Brian. Guide to New Mexico. New York: Highlights For Children, 1995
What they say about...Liberty Belles
"The students and faculty were captivated by your charismatic
storytelling through acting, music and imagery." - Diane Battersby, Music Teacher and Cultural Arts Coordinator, Riverdale Public School
(actress & playwright
is presently a member of The Actors Studio. She trained at LAMDA and
the New York School of the Arts. She has appeared on TV in: As
The World Turns
and Search for Tomorrow
In Great Britain she performed a range of roles from Viola in Twelfth
to Sarah Goddard, a turn of the century Rhode Island
feminist. Some of her New York stage credits include: The New
Dramatist's Three Sisters
, Lincoln Center’s A
View from the Bridge
, Theatre of the Open Eye’s Birdbath
The 78th Street Theatre Lab’s Ruffian on the Stair
and Paradise Lost
at The Actors Studio. In
addition, Ms. Pasquale creates and tours her repertoire of Living
for audiences of all ages in venues along
the East Coast. Recent appearances include: Nellie
at The NHHC Chautauqua, Liberty Belles
Yale University Museum and Deborah Sampson
John Jay Homestead.
Submit Your Story!
Like our country, this program is ever-changing and we'd very much
like your students to become part of it! The following is a guideline
should they wish to submit their own ancestral stories for inclusion in
our next Liberty Belles program.
Your Name: ______________________________
Your Age: _________________________
Your Class and school: _________________________________________________
Contact phone #: _______________________________
Where did your mother's family live before coming to America?______________________________
Where did you father's family live before coming to America? ______________________________________
Where were you born? ___________________________________________________
Please relate one or many true stories about your family's journey
to America. Try to include as many details as you can, such as dates,
names of the people involved, people's ages in the story, and their
relationship to you. Stories may revolve around any theme, but here are
a few examples:
- A holiday tradition that dates back to your homeland.
- Why your name is what it is.
- The story behind a particular piece of clothing and/or furniture that is in your family.
If chosen, we'll notify you immediately! Please submit all tales to: firstname.lastname@example.org