During February, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring special events in commemoration of African American History Month, an annual observance celebrating the invaluable contributions the Black community has made to the culture and history of the United States.
All programs are free and open to the public. To learn more or make reservations, go to history.delaware.gov.
Due to health and safety precautions, programs may be rescheduled, canceled or converted to virtual presentations. Check each presenter’s website or social media for the latest information.
Preserving African-American History in Delaware: Highlighting Vibrant Communities Through Research and the Green Book is set for 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 1, at South Coastal Library, Bethany Beach. Historian Carlton Hall of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ State Historic Preservation Office will discuss the Green Book, a travel and vacation guidebook for people of color during the segregation era. Limited seating. Registration is required and available on the library’s website. Later registrants may watch the program via Zoom. To register, go to southcoastal.lib.de.us. For information, call 302-858-5518.
Desegregating Delaware: Louis Redding and Education in the First State Virtual is set for 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 5, via Zoom. Lead interpreter Gavin Malone of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Old State House discusses how two cases that Delaware attorney Louis Redding took on in the early 1950s began the process of desegregating the state’s education system and impacted civil rights efforts on a national level. Registration is required at history.delaware.gov. For details, call 302-744-5054.
Free and Fettered: Black Sailors and the War of 1812, a pre-recorded program, will be released at 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 17, on Zwaanendael Museum’s Facebook page. The museum’s historical interpreter Tom Pulmano explores the lives of Delaware’s Black sailors who served as free, enslaved or impressed men during the War of 1812.
Highlights of African American History in Delaware will be available Friday, Feb. 25, on the New Castle Court House Museum Facebook page. Site interpreter Joan Foster and lead interpreter Juliette Wurm will bring to life information from the museum’s exhibit on African American history in Delaware. The program includes the stories of the Hawkins Family, the Colored Conventions, the Buttonwood and Booker T. Washington schools as well as Black Delaware luminaries.
A guided visitation of the African burial ground at the John Dickinson Plantation is set for 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 26, at 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Participants will be guided on a visitation to the African burial ground which is believed to be the final resting place for enslaved and free Black men, women and children who died on the plantation. Guests will engage with guides about the historical context and archaeological research of the site. Visitors should wear clothing that accounts for current weather conditions. Admission is free, but reservations are required by calling 302-739-3277.