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African-American History Month programs among 18 special events at division museums during February 2018

Written on: January 25th, 2018 in Archaeology Events Historic Sites Museums News

During the month of February 2018, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 18 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware. Thirteen 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.

Paul Robeson will be one of the performers explored in “The Evolution of Black Recorded Music” on Feb. 3, 2018.

Paul Robeson will be one of the performers explored in “The Evolution of Black Recorded Music” on Feb. 3, 2018.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, February 2018

Saturday, Feb. 3
“African-American Archaeology in Delaware.” Presentation by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic on archaeological investigations that have revealed information about African-American lifeways in Delaware. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 3
“The Evolution of Black Recorded Music: ‘The Roots (1900s to 1910s).’ ” Program examines the origins of black recorded music and the adversity black artists, such as Burt Williams, faced during the era of minstrel shows and vaudeville. The program also explores early performers—including Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson who recorded spirituals, and pre-jazz artists like James Reese Europe—who helped lay the foundations for future black recording artists. Part one of a four-part weekly series that examines the evolution of black recorded music from the 1900s to today. First Saturday in the First State program. 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 suggested by calling 302-739-3262.

Saturdays, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24
“A World Apart.” Guided tours explore the 18th-century African-American experience on the plantation. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Mannequin depicting Dinah Patten who was enslaved at the John Dickinson Plantation. “A World Apart” tours during the month of February 2018 will explore the lives of African-Americans who lived on the plantation in the 18th century.

Mannequin depicting Dinah Patten who was enslaved at the John Dickinson Plantation. “A World Apart” tours during the month of February 2018 will explore the lives of African-Americans who lived on the plantation in the 18th century.

Friday, Feb. 9
Concert by Trini Lima. Singer/songwriter. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 10
“African-American History in 20th-Century Delaware A Study of the ‘Green Book.’ ” Presentation by 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. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 10
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. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 10
“The Evolution of Black Recorded Music—‘Down in the Delta: The Jazz Age and the Origins of Blues (1920s to 1940s).’ ” Program examines recording artists like Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway who took the jazz sound of New Orleans and turned it into a popular mainstay of American music; and Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson and B.B. King who helped bring the blues to a larger audience and helped to shape the burgeoning rhythm and blues and rock and roll genres. Part two of a four-part weekly series that examines the evolution of black recorded music from the 1900s to today. 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 suggested by calling 302-739-3262.

Sunday, Feb. 11
“ ‘What If’: Lincoln Had Failed and the South Became an Independent Nation.” Counterfactual program that considers the question: What would have happened if the South had won the Civil War? Presented by historian and Lincoln enthusiast, Larry Koch, Ed.D. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are suggested by calling 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 17
“The Dennis Farm: A Free African-American Cultural Legacy.” Presentation by archaeologist Wade Catts on the Dennis Farm in Susquehanna County, Pa. which was settled by free African-Americans in 1793. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 17
“The Evolution of Black Recorded Music: ‘The Rock-n-Roll Soul.’ ” Program examines the roles played by Chuck Berry, Little Richard, James Brown, Fats Domino and Sister Rosetta Tharpe in establishing soul music, rock and roll, and rhythm and blues. Part three of a four-part weekly series that examines the evolution of black recorded music from the 1900s to today. 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 suggested by calling 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 17
“Seafarers Folk Art.” Program featuring demonstrations and hands-on activities. Part four of “Global to Local: International Events and the First State,” a five-part series exploring how world events impacted Delaware’s history. 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 for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Feb. 16, 2018.

Sunday, Feb. 18
“Spying for Victory: George Washington, the Culper Spy Ring and the American Revolution.” Program explores the importance of intelligence to the American victory in the Revolutionary War and the contributions made by the Culper Ring and other American spies including Delaware’s Allen McLane. Presented in partnership with the Delaware State Society of the Cincinnati. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are suggested by calling 302-744-5054.

Historic-site interpreter Tom Welch will portray George Washington as part of the “Spying for Victory” program on Feb. 18, 2018.

Historic-site interpreter Tom Welch will portray George Washington as part of the “Spying for Victory” program on Feb. 18, 2018.

Monday, Feb. 19
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. 302-744-5054.

Wednesday, Feb. 22
Washington’s Birthday. All 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 John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 24
“Stories of African-American History From St. Jones Neck.” Presentation by Gloria Henry, site supervisor of the John Dickinson Plantation, utilizes primary-source materials including manumission documents, bills of sales and family information to illustrate the lives of free and enslaved African-Americans who lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 24
“The Evolution of Black Recorded Music: ‘MTV and the Age of Self-Expression.’ ” Program highlights the continuation of the Jackson family musical saga—Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson’s solo careers, how Music Television changed the way audiences experienced music, and the golden age of hip hop with groups like Run DMC, the politically active Public Enemy, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and the emergence of gangsta rap with NWA. Final segment of a four-part weekly series that examines the evolution of black recorded music from the 1900s to today. 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 suggested by calling 302-739-3262.

Saturday Feb. 24
“The Archaeology of a Free African-American Household in Central Delaware at the turn of the 19th Century.” African-American History Month lecture by John P. McCarthy, RPA, cultural preservation specialist for Delaware State Parks. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 3 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 for the lecture are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than Feb. 23, 2018.

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 tours, exhibits, school programs and hands-on activities, the museums shine a spotlight on Delaware’s unique history and the diverse people who came to live there. The museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

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