Delaware Announces Black History Month 2023 Programs

African AmericanImage by Adeboro Odunlami

DELAWARE — During the month of February 2023, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 11 special events. Eight of these events will be presented in commemoration of Black History Month, an annual observance celebrating the invaluable contributions that the African American community has made to the culture and history of the United States. A full schedule is included below. Admission is free and open to the public, but reservations are required for some programs. Go to the following link for additional information and reservation instructions: https://history.delaware.gov/2022/12/28/hca-black-history-month-2023/.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs programs, February 2023

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023
“Struggles for Equality — ‘Ending Erasure: The African Burial Ground.’ “ Black History Month program about the site that is believed to be the final resting place for enslaved and free Black men, women and children who died on the John Dickinson Plantation. Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. 302-744-5054 or mailto:[email protected].

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2022
“Ending Erasure: Recognizing African Americans in the Cultural Landscape.” Program in which Vertie Lee, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ curator of education, and Gloria Henry, site supervisor of the John Dickinson Plantation, discuss the site’s African Burial Ground and its Plantation Stories Project. Presented by the Hockessin Historical SocietyHockessin Public Library, 1023 Valley Road, Hockessin. Noon. Free but reservations suggested. 302-239-5160.

Friday, Feb. 10, 2023
“Segregated Sands” and “Recapturing Black Beaches” information session. Virtual presentation discussing the Zwaanendael Museum’s online exhibit “Segregated Sands” and the oral history project “Recapturing Black Beaches.” Program streamed live via Zoom. 4 p.m. Free but registration required. 302-645-1148 or mailto:[email protected].

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Friday, Feb. 10, 2023
Concert by singer/songwriter J.D. Webb. Folk, rock and blues. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk. Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7:30 p.m. 302-744-5054 or mailto:[email protected].

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023
“Struggles for Equality — ‘The Letter of the Law.’ “ Black History Month program in which Juliette Wurm, lead historic-site interpreter at the New Castle Court House Museum, explores the bias and racism written in the laws of Delaware from the American Revolution to Reconstruction and how those laws were enforced. Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Programs at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. 302-744-5054 or mailto:[email protected].

Monday, Feb. 13, 2023
“Enslavement and the Underground Railroad in Delaware: Stories from Below the Canal.” Presentation on some of the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware’s current projects including a new video, “The Tilly Escape,” about one of Harriet Tubman’s rescue missions in the Seaford, Del. area, and the search for the African Burial Ground at Dover’s John Dickinson Plantation. Laurel Public Library, 101 E. Fourth St., Laurel. 5 p.m. 302-875-3184.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023
“Struggles for Equality — ‘An Uphill Battle: The Unfulfilled Promise of the Civil War 1865-1896.’ “ At the end of the Civil War, great change seemed promised with the first federal civil rights acts and amendments. Why instead did the nation descend into segregation? In this Black History Month program, Lead Historic-Site Interpreter Gavin Malone explores the constitutional amendments, the first federal civil rights acts, Delaware’s political climate and reactions to federal legislation ending with the Plessy decision. Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 1 p.m. 302-744-5054 or mailto:[email protected].

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Friday, Feb. 24, 2023
“Well Seasoned Heirlooms.” In this virtual series, Historic-Site Interpreter Kimberly Fritsch of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ New Castle Court House Museum shines a spotlight on the practices, recipes and women throughout Delaware history as they speak to us through their food. Program streamed live via Zoom and on the New Castle Court House Museum’s Facebook page. Noon. Free but Zoom registration required. 302-323-4453 or mailto:[email protected].

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023
“Struggles for Equality — ‘The Letter of the Law.’ “ Black History Month program in which Lead Historic-Site Interpreter Juliette Wurm explores the bias and racism written in the laws of Delaware from the American Revolution to Reconstruction and how those laws were enforced. Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Noon. 302-323-4453 or mailto:[email protected]v.

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023
“Struggles for Equality — ‘The Evolution of Black Recorded Music: ‘The Rock-n-Roll Soul.’ “ Black History Month multimedia presentation examines the roles played by Chuck Berry, Little Richard, James Brown, Fats Domino, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the Detroit-based Motown Records in establishing soul music, rock and roll, and rhythm and blues. Program will feature biographies, musical recordings and video clips from the 1940s through the 1960s. Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 1 p.m. 302-744-5054 or mailto:[email protected].

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023
“Thar She Blows! Whaling on the High Seas.” Program by Delaware Humanities speaker Steve Renzi on whaling in America and particularly the whaling industry in Delaware with the Wilmington Whaling Company. Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 1:30 p.m. 302-323-4453 or mailto:[email protected].

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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 and special programs, 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 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 long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

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