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African American History Month programs among 18 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware during February 2018

News Release from the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs

For Immediate Release

African American History Month programs among 18 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware during February 2018

 

 Paul RobesonPaul 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.

(DOVER, Del.—Jan. 25, 2018)—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.

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

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018

“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, 2018

“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, 2018

“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.

 Dinah Patten spinningMannequin 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, 2018

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, 2018

“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, 2018

“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.

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018

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.

Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018

‘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, 2018

“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, 2018

“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, 2018

“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, 2018

"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.

 Welch as McLaneHistoric-site interpreter Tom Welch will portray Revolutionary War hero Allen McLane as part of the “Spying for Victory” program on Feb. 18, 2018.

Historic-site interpreter Tom Welch will portray Revolutionary War hero Allen McLane as part of the “Spying for Victory” program on Feb. 18, 2018.

Monday, Feb. 19, 2018

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.

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

“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, 2018

“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, 2018

“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.

Exhibits and displays, February 2018
In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits and displays. Admission is free and open to the public:

Ongoing

Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Display explores the DeBraak, a shipwrecked 18th-century British warship, including a photo of the hull recovery, reproductions of items aboard ship and a model of the vessel. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Ongoing

Drawing America to Victory: The Persuasive Power of the Arts in World War I.” Online exhibit revolves around 27 World War I posters from the collections of the State of Delaware.

Ongoing

Five Stories.” Display explores the varied lives of people who lived on the plantation including Dickinson family members, tenant farmers, tradesmen, free blacks, indentured servants and enslaved individuals. John Dickinson Plantation Welcome Center, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Ongoing

Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania.” Online exhibit explores the life of Founding Father John Dickinson on the 250th anniversary of the publication of his essays that described Colonial American grievances with the British government.

Ongoing

New Castle: Three Forts, One Community.” Exhibit examines the 17th-century struggle for control of New Castle by the Dutch, Swedes and English, and the strongholds that they built to maintain their power. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

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Ongoing

The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016.” Display explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first state capitol building was restored to its original appearance in 1976. From the collections of the State of Delaware. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Ongoing

Rose Color to Gold to Glowing Red: Orville and Ethel Peets in Paris 1913-1914.” Exhibit featuring paintings and painting materials used by the noted Delaware artists Orville Houghton Peets and Ethel Canby Peets. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

 Ethel Peets by Orville Peets compressedPortrait of Ethel Canby Peets by Orville Peets on display at the Zwaanendael Museum.

Portrait of Ethel Canby Peets by Orville Peets on display at the Zwaanendael Museum.

Ongoing

Sculpture by Charles Parks. Display of works by the noted Wilmington artist featuring historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing

A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.” Exhibit utilizes artifacts recovered from His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798, to tell the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Ongoing

Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel—that constitute the elementary building blocks of which many more-complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

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 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.

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