DNREC’s First State Heritage Park ‘First Saturday’ to offer special programs Feb. 2 marking African-American History Month

DOVER – DNREC’s First State Heritage Park’s monthly “First Saturday in the First State” will host “Black Migrations, Urban Realities for the African-American Community in Delaware,” and other programs as a part of African-American History Month. These First Saturday programs are based on the theme “Black Migrations,” set by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the national organization that founded African-American History Month.

Programs have been selected to emphasize the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and social realities. “Navigating a Segregated State: The Successes and Hardships of Travel for African Americans,” will be offered at the John Bell House, to explore how people of color faced daily challenges of discrimination and segregation, and worked together to create a system of communication. Also offered will be a “Tales of Slavery and Freedom Walking Tour,” to examine The Green as a place where free and enslaved men and women lived out their daily lives.

At Legislative Hall, guided tours will honor the life and work of long-time legislator Herman Holloway, known as the “Dean of Black Politicians” in Delaware, who served during the tumultuous 1960s. This program will feature his portrait, hanging prominently, as well as iconic images from his civil rights work. Other activities will be taking place throughout the day.

Here is a list of programs and activities on Saturday, February 2, 2019:

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

“Navigating a Segregated State: The Successes and Hardships of Travel for African-Americans”

Explore the daily challenges faced by people of color travelling though, and out of the state, from the foundation of the nation through the era of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green.

“The Dean of Black Politicians: The Life and Work of Herman Holloway”

While touring Delaware’s Capitol Building, learn about the legal fight for civil rights and explore the life of Herman Holloway, one of Delaware’s most prominent African-American politicians, who served as both a state representative and state senator during the 1960s. At Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Avenue. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.

Biggs Kids: Inspired by Africa

Many Americans have ancestors who lived in Africa. To celebrate that heritage, children can make works of art inspired by African designs and crafts. For ages 5-10. At the Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street.

African-American Music and the Victor Talking Machine Company

Guided tours will highlight the musical careers of some of the most famous African-American artists who recorded with the Victor Talking Machine company from 1901 to 1929. At the Johnson Victrola Museum, 275 S. New Street.

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Tours of the Governor’s House

Enjoy guided tours of the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and Hall House, the Governor’s guest house. At Woodburn (The Governor’s House), 151 Kings Highway.

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Tales of Slavery and Freedom Walking Tour

As a border state, Delaware’s role was complicated regarding slavery. Find out why during these walking tours, which begin on the hour. Meet at the John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green.

10:30 a.m.

The Rosedale Beach Hotel and Resort

Historian Tamara Jubilee-Shaw will examine the history of this special Delaware resort, which was located in the Millsboro area, and was one of the few places for people of color to go for entertainment and hotel accommodations before desegregation. At the Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

11:00 a.m.

African-American History: State Historic Preservation in Delaware

This presentation explores Delaware’s rich African-American culture, history, and legacy. At The Old State House, 25 The Green.

1:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Legion of Strangers: The Ebony Doughboys Story

Learn about the Ebony Doughboys, African-American soldiers who fought in WWI with the French Foreign Legion. In Courtroom 1, at the Kent County Courthouse, 38 The Green.

Admission to all park sites and programs is free. Centrally-located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North. For more information about “First Saturday” events and all First State Heritage Park programs, please call 302-739-9194 or visit destateparks.com.

The First State Heritage Park is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries,” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777. The park is a partnership of state agencies under the leadership of DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.

Media Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902