African Skies

The planetarium show will explore the African Skies and African astronomical mythology. The diverse African peoples have a large body of cosmological legendary tales which are short, often humorous, and always educational. The sun, moon, and stars were used to keep calendars which was used to determine planting, fishing, hunting, and yearly festivals. The tradition of using songs to convey information about the sky that would be useful to people on earth saw further development in the "Follow the Drinking Gourd" (Follow the Drinking Gourd Collection story). African-American slaves used this navigation song to determine the direction of their flight to freedom from slavery. The underground railroad used the big dipper (Ursa Major) to orient people on which direction was north in the little dipper (Ursa Minor).  Come to the planetarium and you too will learn that the night sky still has useful information about life on earth.  The PowerPoint presentation first used on February 4, 2006 for the Drinking Gourd portion of the show. 

"WANTED DEAD of ALIVE" the true story of Harriet Tubman., an Elementary School perspective.
Harriet Tubman  & the Underground Railroad further Elementary School perspective and resent political action.
A very interesting site on the differences in the dirinking gourd song and its uses

Montgomery College's Planetarium home page

Web page by Dr. Harold Alden Williams.
Last changed 3:38PM February 5, 2013.