~ DEMO PAGE for an ONGOING PROJECT ~
WORKING TITLE: The Hutchinson Family Singers: “Make the World Resound”
BY: Marek Bennett
Over a century before the protest singers and pop music of modern social justice movements, one rural New England family became internationally famous for their potent musical blend of politics, social reform, religion, and courage. This project traces the childhood and early career of the Hutchinson Family Singers, from their humble beginnings singing and working on a small antebellum farm, to their first forays as struggling musicians playing to empty meeting houses along muddy northern back roads, to their dramatic rise to stardom in the growing American abolition movement. With a bloody civil war looming on the horizon, these young musicians must find a way to harmonize the interconnected struggles for freedom, women’s rights, temperance, and American identity — even as their own family ties begin to fray.
FORMAT: Graphic novel
PROJECTED LENGTH: ~300 pages
GENRE: Non-fiction: American History: 19th Century Reform Movements: Abolition
STATUS: ~60 pages drawn, remaining pages outlined via primary sources.
Advance Demo Booklet = “The Early Days”: Scenes from Childhood, 1821-1836 (PDF) ~20 early pages about some of the influences (musical & otherwise) that shaped the Hutchinson Family Singers.
- Project Portfolio @ “Live Free & Draw” >>
- Most recent (posted) sample pages >>
- Drawn from primary source materials, this project aligns strongly with Common Core standards for ELA & History/Social Studies. It can be used as a model for further research & creative work by students in grades 3-12 & college level history courses.
- Marek Bennett teaches both comics & antebellum folk music for various arts & literacy roster programs. His residencies include supplemental materials & programming to help teachers integrate history comics into their curriculum. [ARTIST BIO >>]
- Final publication will include significant online resources, including notes & source links for teachers & curious readers.
PROJECT SOURCE MATERIALS:
- “Story of the Hutchinsons” VOLUME 1 >> | VOLUME 2 >> (John Hutchinson, 1896)
- Singing for Freedom (Gac, 2007)
- Excelsior: Journals of the Hutchinson Family Singers, 1842-1846 (Cockrell, 1989)
- Sheet music & songsheets of the Hutchinson Family Singers