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African American History Month programs among 16 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware during February 2016

Date Posted: Friday, January 15th, 2016
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs Kent County New Castle County News Sussex County

(DOVER, Del.—Jan. 15, 2016)—During the month of February 2016, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 16 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware. Twelve of these events will be presented 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.

The life of Paul Robeson will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 6, 2016.

The life of Paul Robeson will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 6, 2016.

Highlights of the month include “Paul Robeson’s Family Ties and Contributions,” special guided tours that will explore the biography and political views of vocalist and Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson, accompanied by his 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Tours will take place on Saturday, Feb. 6 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Johnson Victrola Museum located at 375 S. New St. in Dover.

On Saturdays, Feb. 6, 20 and 27, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will present “A World Apart,” a series of programs and 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, two of the state’s museums will offer “The Green Book and Vibrant African-American Communities,” a presentation by historian Bev Laing and researcher Carlton Hall of the State Historic Preservation Office on the “Green Book,” a travel and vacation guidebook for people of color during the segregation era. Presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the program will explore the stories of African-Americans of the last century and their challenges living through the Jim Crow laws in Delaware from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The first “Green Book” program will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13 on the 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator) of the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes. Admission to the program is free but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Feb. 12, 2016. The second “Green Book” program will take place on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. at The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover.

The Green Book will be profiled in programs on Feb. 13 and 27, 2016.

The Green Book will be profiled in programs on Feb. 13 and 27, 2016.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the State of Delaware—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House 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. Go to the following for a long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, February 2016

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
“Paul Robeson’s Family Ties and Contributions.” African American History Month guided tours explore the biography and political views of vocalist and Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson, accompanied by his 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
“A World Apart: Deconstructing a Life.” Using primary sources, this African American History Month workshop will document the journey from slavery to freedom for individuals and families associated with the Dickinson Plantation. The workshop will introduce skills such as reading primary-sources documents, consolidating historical information and creating a perspective about the individuals and families discussed. Visitor Center, John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 10 a.m.–Noon. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-739-3277 no later than Feb. 5, 2016.

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
“Preservation50—‘Preserving African-American History in Delaware: People, Places and Events.’ ”
Panel discussion exploring the latest research and findings on African-American history in Delaware by local historians. Presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
“Painting a Portrait: Crystals and Hoodoo Aboard the H.M.S. DeBraak.”
African American History Month presentation by Fran Mahon on African religious practices in the 18th century and the possibility that some of the crew members aboard the British warship that sank off the Delaware coast in 1798 may have been of African descent. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Feb. 5, 2016.

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016
“Songs of Love.” In celebration of Valentine’s Day, guided tours will explore the variety of songs about love recorded by Victor Records. Tours will be accompanied by 78-rpm recordings of those songs played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016
“A Great Worthy of the Revolution: John Dickinson’s Remembrance Day.” Program commemorating the 208th anniversary of the death of John Dickinson explores 18th century mourning practices including a letter written in Dickinson’s memory by then President Thomas Jefferson. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Wreath laying ceremony at Samuel Dickinson’s gravesite at Noon. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277. Note: The length of this program has been extended, ending at 3 p.m. rather than 2 p.m. as previously published.

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016
“Preservation50: ‘Maps, Taxes and African-American Presence in Kent County, Delaware 1837 and 1845.’ ”
Presentation by Madeline Dunn, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ historian and National Register of Historic Places coordinator, on the African-American community in Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Del. in the mid-19th century. Presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016
“Preservation50—‘Preserving Sussex County History: The Green Book and Vibrant African-American Communities.’ ” Presentation by historian Bev Laing and researcher Carlton Hall of the State Historic Preservation Office on the “Green Book,” a travel and vacation guidebook for people of color during the segregation era. The program will explore the stories of African-Americans of the last century and their challenges living through the Jim Crow laws in Delaware from the 1920s to the 1960s. Presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Feb. 12, 2016. Note: The program “Preserving History of the African-American Culture in Delaware: New Found Stories from Sussex County,” originally scheduled for Feb. 13, 2016, has been replaced with the “Green Book” program.

Monday, Feb. 15, 2016
Presidents Day. The following museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The following museums will be closed: The John Dickinson Plantation, the New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum). 302-736-7400.

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016
“Fats Waller: A Man of Many Talents.” African American History Month guided tours focus on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines and a short clip of the pianist in performance. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016
“A World Apart: Dinah’s World.” African-American-history-based tours explore the lives of Dinah Patten and her family and their journey from enslavement to freedom. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Mannequin depicting Dinah Patten, who was enslaved at the John Dickinson Plantation in the 18th century. Tours on Feb. 20 will explore the lives of Patten and her family and their journey from enslavement to freedom.

Mannequin depicting Dinah Patten, who was enslaved at the John Dickinson Plantation in the 18th century. Tours on Feb. 20 will explore the lives of Patten and her family and their journey from enslavement to freedom.

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016
“Preservation50—‘Kidnapped: The Experience of Slavery and Freedom of Aaron Cooper in Delaware.’ ” Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic tells Cooper’s story through historic documents, court records and archaeology. Cooper, a free African-American, was kidnapped by a slave trader in 1811 and sold as a slave in Natchez, Miss. Through community action and the legal process, he eventually regained his freedom and returned to Delaware. Presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5054.

Monday, Feb. 22, 2016
Washington’s Birthday. The following museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The following museums will be closed: The John Dickinson Plantation, the New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum). 302-736-7400.

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016
“The Golden Age of Music—‘Over There: World War I and the Victor Talking Machine Company.’ ” Program explores music’s influence during World War I when patriotic songs were being composed throughout America. Hear 78-rpm recordings of this inspirational music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines, and explore how the Victor Talking Machine Company’s Camden, N.J. factory led the fight to make the world safe for democracy. Part one of a five-part weekly music series. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program at 1 p.m. in the museum’s 2nd floor gallery (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016
“Marian Anderson: An African-American First.” African American History Month guided tours explore the biography and family connections of operatic contralto and Civil Rights activist Marian Anderson, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3262.

The life of Marian Anderson will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 27, 2016.

The life of Marian Anderson will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 27, 2016.

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016
“A World Apart: Run for Freedom.” African-American-history-based tours explore how three enslaved individuals sought freedom and how they escaped from bondage. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016
“Preservation50—‘African-American History in 20th Century Delaware: The Green Book and Vibrant African-American Communities.’ ” Presentation by historian Bev Laing and researcher Carlton Hall of the State Historic Preservation Office on the “Green Book,” a travel and vacation guidebook for people of color during the segregation era. The program will explore the stories of African-Americans of the last century and their challenges living through the Jim Crow laws in Delaware from the 1920s to the 1960s. Presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5054.

Exhibits and displays, February 2016
In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits and displays:

Ongoing
Delaware and the War of 1812.”
Exhibit examines the service and sacrifice of Delawareans of 1812 to 1815, and the important role that the state played in a conflict that helped shaped the development of the United States. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Ongoing
Delaware Mourns Lincoln: A Demonstration of Love and Sorrow.” Utilizing graphics, clothing and memorabilia, the display explores how Delawareans expressed their deep sorrow upon the death of President Abraham Lincoln on April 15, 1865. From the collections of the State of Delaware. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Ongoing
Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Display explores the DeBraak, a shipwrecked 18th-century British warship including a photo of the hull recovery, reproductions of items aboard ship, and a model of the vessel. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

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. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Section of the exhibit, “Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey From Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad,” on display at the New Castle Court House Museum.

Section of the exhibit, “Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey From Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad,” on display at the New Castle Court House Museum.

Ongoing
Sculpture by Charles Parks. Display of works by the noted Wilmington artist featuring historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing
A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Exhibit utilizes artifacts recovered from His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798 to tell the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Ongoing
Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel—that constitute the elementary building blocks of which many more-complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Ongoing
World War II Through the Lens of William D. Willis.” Designed by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the display features photographs taken in Western Europe from 1943-45. From the collections of the State of Delaware. Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover. Limited visitation hours; call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit.

-End-

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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