Railroad of Courage began as a bed-time story. Four of our grandchildren read a story book about slavery. They were shocked that people could be bought, sold, and owned by other people. They asked us to tell them a story about a slave girl, a story set in the context of hope and courage. Railroad of Courage was told over many weeks and the children contributed their ideas about the characters and the plot.
They imagined what it would be like to live in slavery and what it would be like to run away. What gave Rebecca and her family the courage to ride the Underground Railroad? How did Moses (Harriet Tubman) teach Rebecca to trust good people, both black and white?
When facing injustices in their own lives, we hope our grandchildren and other readers will recall the courage of Rebecca and her family and the beliefs and determination of white abolitionists. In time, they may develop “moral imagination” – the ability to imagine a world that is just, fair and equitable.