Dover museums to host African-American-themed events Jan. 4 and 5

December 27, 2013

Delaware’s three downtown Dover museums will present four programs related to the African-American experience in Delaware and the nation Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 4 and 5. Admission for all programs is free and open to the public. For more information, call the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries at 302-744-5055.

The Old State House, 25 The Green, will feature Civil Rights: A Dream Deferred: The Past to the Present at 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 4. Presented by Dr. James Newton, University of Delaware professor emeritus of Black American Studies, the program will include a screening of the 2007 documentary film “A Dream Deferred: Remembering the 1968 Occupation,” which depicts the rioting that took place in Wilmington after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the subsequent nine-month occupation of the city by the National Guard. Issues to be discussed include economic equality, poverty, discrimination, housing, education and urban development.

The Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., will offer the program Protest Music, featuring guided tours that explore the roots of protest music through original recordings of Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson and others played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Tours will take place throughout the day between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 4

An Illegal Activity, the third program Jan. 4, will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and two Delaware leaders who aided in this freedom enterprise - Samuel D. Burris and Thomas Garrett. Special tours will be offered at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries in the Delaware Public Archives building at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Gloria Henry, site supervisor of Dover’s John Dickinson Plantation, will present "In Order to Prevent a Continuance of Slavery" at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 5, at The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover.  Henry utilized primary-source materials, including manumission documents, bills of sale and family information, to illustrate the lives of slaves who lived and worked on the estate of John Dickinson.

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