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African American History Month programs at the museums of the state of Delaware during February 2014

Posted On: Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Categories: Historical and Cultural Affairs News

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Willis Phelps will portray Private James H. Elbert of the United States Colored Troops on Feb. 1 at Dover’s Old State House.Following is a listing of two exhibits and 11 special programs that will be presented at the museums of the state of Delaware during February 2014 in commemoration of African American History Month, an annual observance celebrating the invaluable contributions that the black community has made to the culture and history of the United States. All programs listed are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Highlights of the month include “Ready to Fight for Freedom: James H. Elbert,” a living-history performance in which Willis Phelps portrays Private James H. Elbert, C Company, 8th United States Colored Troops, who fought in the American Civil War. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and talk with Elbert who will remain in character throughout his appearance. The program will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green, in Dover.

Each Saturday during the month, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will be offering special tours exploring the lives of African Americans who lived in slavery and servitude at the home of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States and “Penman of the Revolution.”

Finally, on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., The Old State House will present the Second Annual Samuel D. Burris Workshop exploring the latest research on Burris and his work as an Underground Railroad conductor in Delaware.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the six museums of the state of Delaware—the New Castle Court House Museum, the John Dickinson Plantation, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, The Old State House, the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through displays, exhibits and special programs, the museums explore how the state’s distinctive physical environment, in combination with the people who came to live there, gave Delaware an identity that is different from any other place.

African American History Month programs at the museums of the state of Delaware, February 2014

 Thru July 31, 2014
An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware.” Exhibit explores the First State’s role in the Underground Railroad by showcasing Thomas Garrett and Samuel D. Burris and the actions they took in following their consciences rather than the law. Presented in partnership with the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30-4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Ongoing
Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey From Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad.” Exhibit chronicles the compelling story of Emeline Hawkins and her family and their 1845 odyssey on the Underground Railroad from slavery in Maryland, through Delaware to freedom in Pennsylvania. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
“An Illegal Activity.” Utilizing the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” as a backdrop, guided tours will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and on two Delaware leaders who aided in this “freedom enterprise.” Presented in conjunction with First Saturday in the First State. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at 10 a.m., Noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
“A World Apart.” African American History Month tours. Learn about Cato and Pompey and their world of servitude to John and Samuel Dickinson. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
“Ready to Fight for Freedom: James H. Elbert.” Living-history interpreter Willis Phelps portrays Civil War Private James H. Elbert, C Company, 8th United States Colored Troops. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and talk with Elbert who will remain in character throughout his appearance. Presented in conjunction with First Saturday in the First State. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
“Remembering Rosedale Beach.” Program by Tamara Jubilee-Shaw exploring the history of Rosedale Beach near Millsboro, a popular waterfront resort run by, and for, people of color that featured noted performers Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and Aretha Franklin, among many others. Presented in conjunction with First Saturday in the First State. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014
“The Dover Eight: A Story of the Underground Railroad.” Sylvester Woolford of Newark, Del. will present a lecture on the history of the Underground Railroad in the First State. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014
“A World Apart.” African American History Month tours. Learn about Dinah and her family from enslavement to freedom. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014
“From Africa to the Americas Via Music, Song, Dance and Stories.” Program by Mr. Kamau Ngom highlights the similarities between traditional African culture and African-influenced culture in the Americas. Audience participation is a must in this village-oriented presentation. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014
Second Annual Samuel D. Burris Workshop. Program explores the latest findings on Delaware’s Underground Railroad conductor Samuel D. Burris. Activities begin at the Old State House and conclude at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Workshop 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014
“Stories of Runaway Slaves.” African American History Month tours. Learn about three runaway slaves and how they escaped from St. Jones Neck. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
“A World Apart.” African American History Month tours. Learn about Violet Brown and read her recollections. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
“The Remarkable Solomon and Thamar Bayley.” Lecture by Dr. Peter Dalleo on the true early-19th-century story of Solomon Bayley and his wife Thamar during their journey from enslavement to freedom on the Delmarva Peninsula and in Africa. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.


Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone:  302-736-7413
E-mail:  Jim.Yurasek@state.de.us
Web:   http://history.delaware.gov

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