The Pennsylvania Humanities Council and Pennsylvania’s Quest for Freedom have partnered together (along with other PA organizations) to offer Live & Learn Weekends to residents and visitors throughout Pennsylvania. The intention is to increase public understanding of the Underground Railroad, the Civil War era, and Pennsylvania’s and the nation’s history. Between now and October, each region throughout the state will host three weekend-long events that will include a book discussion program (led by an expert scholar to generate dialogue in communities) and tours of local historical sites where attendees can interact with living history performers.

Three books have been selected for the 2010 Live & Learn program because of their focus on the themes of flight, resistance, social change, and self-empowerment. I was honored to learn that the first book, scheduled for regional weekends held during March 15 – April 15, is Inheriting The Trade. The second book, scheduled for June 15 – July 15, is What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery and the Civil War by Chandra Manning. The third book, scheduled for September 15 – October 15, is Slavery and the Making of America by James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton.

The programs take place throughout Pennsylvania in Chambersburg/Carlisle (Franklin County), Erie, Lancaster, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The Franklin County Visitors Bureau has announced their Live & Learn program for this weekend, March 19-20. Watch the 30-second YouTube video they created to promote the event here.

It’s good to know that programs like Live & Learn Weekends are offering information to folks from episodes in our nation’s history that have been kept hidden for a very long time.