African American History Month Events to Be Featured at Division Museums in February 2014

January 16th, 2014 by Jim Yurasek

During the month of February 2014, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 18 special programs at the state of Delaware’s six museums. Eleven of these programs 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. A full schedule of events is listed below. All programs 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.

On Feb. 1 at Dover’s Old State House, Willis Phelps will portray Private James H. Elbert of the United States Colored Troops.

On Feb. 1 at Dover’s Old State House, Willis Phelps will portray Private James H. Elbert of the United States Colored Troops.

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.

Samuel D. Burris

Samuel D. Burris

Special events at the museums of the state of Delaware, February 2014

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.” African American History Month program 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. African American History Month program 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. African American History Month program 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.

Rosedale Beach poster

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. African American History Month program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Thursdays, Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2014
“Thirsty on Thursdays.” Learn how to make hot 18th-century drinks such as syllabub, hot cider, coffee and tea. 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. 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
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.–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. African American History Month program. 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.

Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
“John Dickinson’s 206th Remembrance Day.” Program commemorating 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.–2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

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. 15, 2014
“Delaware’s Decades—the 1950s: ‘Menhaden Industry in Lewes.’ ” Lecture by Tom Brown, Lewes Historical Society volunteer and former archivist with the National Archives. Part three of an eight-part series exploring decades in Delaware’s history. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

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. African American History Month program. 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.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,