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2019 Citywide Black History Celebration

Jan 31, 2019 to Feb 28, 2019
Dover, DE
Event Summary

The Third Annual Citywide Black History Celebration is a series of events highlighting local African American history, culture, art, music and theater.  

Event Details

The theme of this year's Citywide Black History Celebration is "A Passport to America" which will be explored with the following programs:

Local African American Voices

Thursday, January 31, 7 - 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)                                                          Delaware State University Education & Humanities Theatre                                                            1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover, Delaware 19901                                                                                  

A free event featuring Delaware's Poet Laureate the Twin Poets Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Albert Mills, the Delaware State University spoken word group Spoken Word Artists United and Reverend John Moore reciting writings by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others.  In addition, there will be a  chorale concert featuring the Delaware State University Concert Choir and the Delaware State University Gospel Choir.  Enjoy a mixture of spiritual and gospel music, both old and new, at this assembly of wonderful musical talent!  Tickets are not required for this event.  Delaware State University Education & Humanities Theater,1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover, Delaware 19901                                                                                  


The African Diaspora & The Drum

Friday, February 8, 7 - 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)                                                              Saturday, February 9, 12 - 1:30 p.m. (doors open at 11 a.m.)                                                      Saturday, February 9, 4 - 5:30 p.m. (doors open at 3 p.m.)                                                              Sankofa Cultural Arts Center, 39 S. West Street, Dover, Delaware 19901

The Atlantic Slave Trade & The Drum ~ A program designed to acquaint the public, especially those of African ancestry, with their rich heritage using the arts as the primary mode of teaching. The program will feature reenactors of the African Diaspora and musical performances by the Sankofa African Drummers & Dancers, the Sankofa Strings and the Sankofa Steel Drums.

From Africa to Brazil, the Caribbean, South America to North America the drum has been the single most binding nugget of culture besides cuisine.

The Countries Include Cape Verde, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Martinique, the Virgin Islands, Trinidad, Tobago, Surinam, French New Orleans and many, many more.

Tickets for the shows at the Sankofa Cultural Arts Center are free, but required for admission as seating is limited. You can pick up your tickets at the Biggs Museum of American Art, at the Delaware State News office in Dover or order them on this website.  Ticket holders must be seated 15 minutes before the performance start time.  Doors will be opened to the general public at that time.  Sankofa Cultural Arts Center, 39 S. West Street, Dover, Delaware 19901



Traveling Africa 

Thursday, February 21, 5 - 7 p.m. (doors open at 4 p.m.)                                                                  Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street, Dover, Delaware 19901

 We welcome you to the "Meet the Artists" reception sponsored by Chesapeake Utilities highlighting this important group exhibition of African photography, traditional African artwork and authentic African pieces collected by the local community on their travels.

Admission is free for this reception as well as for the First Saturday celebrations on February 2nd from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. where family-friendly hands-on art projects always reinforce exhibition themes in the drop-in community studio.  The exhibit will be on display at the Biggs Museum February 1st - March 24th.  The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Sundays 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

If you are interested in submitting artwork for the exhibit at the Biggs Museum, please see the "Call to Artists" information in the "Photos & Videos" section of this website.  Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street, Dover, Delaware 19901



Citywide Black History Celebration Events at the Dover Public Library


February 1, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.                                                                                                            Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman Street, Dover, Delaware 19901

In Harmony Concert Series: Steel Drummers

Join the Steel Drummers for an evening of music and history, one of the events of the 3rd Annual Citywide Black History Celebration. Learn how drumming was used not only for music and celebrations, but also as a communication tool.



February 7, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.                                                                                                            Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman Street, Dover, Delaware 19901

African Americans and the Civil War

At first they were not allowed to fight. Then they were and more than 180,000 signed up. This is a presentation on African Americans, free and enslaved, and their role in the Civil War. It examines the challenges African Americans faced. It puts a face to soldiers who fought valiantly for the Union cause and freedom. It puts a face to civilians, men and women, who assisted Union efforts.

This program is presented by black history educator, Kathy Trusty, and is supported in part by the Delaware Humanities Forum.


February 8, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.                                                                                                              Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman Street, Dover, Delaware 19901  


Frederick Douglass and the Fight for Literacy



Baba Bomani presents multi-media mix of music, rap, and videos exploring the life and career of Frederick Douglass, starting with "The Narrative of the Life of a Slave," through his career as an abolitionist speaker, to his founding and publishing of several newspapers, including the North Star. An exciting historical introduction to literacy that highlights Douglass' fight for education as the ultimate form of rebellion and serves as a tangible example for students as to why their education is important.



February 13, 2019 at 6 p.m.                                                                                                               Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman Street, Dover, Delaware 19901


The Schools That P.S. DuPont Built

Between 1920 and 1930 P. S. Dupont built 85 schools for African-Americans in Delaware. These schools were called the “Great Experiment” and were intended to improve the quality of life of African-Americans. In 1952 Louis L. Redding sued the State of Delaware to end segregation in Delaware and to close the DuPont schools.  The Hockessin School and the Claymont High School were integrated after Louis L. Redding won the Belah vs. Gebhart case. All Delaware schools were integrated while the DuPont schools closed after the Brown vs. the Board of Education decision was made. This lecture, led by Syl Woolford, reviews the planning which took place to build these schools and the experience of the students who attended them. For those who lived through this experience, it is a celebration of the progress made with the aid of these DuPont Schools. For those who are not familiar with the DuPont schools, it’s a look back at time in American history when race was a dominant factor of all American’s daily life.



February 15, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.                                                                                                               Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman Street, Dover, Delaware 19901

Celebrate the Arts: The Art of African Drumming

As part of Dover's celebration of Black History month, Dennis Minus, the founder and Artistic Director of the Daande Lenol African Ballet and Drum Company, as well as the Artistic Director and a co-founder of the Sankofa African dance and Drum Company of Dover, under the Executive Direction of local councilman, Reuben Salters will teach audience members the art of African drumming.  Audience members will have the opportunity to play African drums and other instruments.



February 21, 2019 at 4 p.m.                                                                                                                 Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman Street, Dover, Delaware 19901

History Book Club: Delaware’s African American History

Please join us for this month's discussion of Delaware's African American History. All are invited to share books, articles and memories as well as to listen, ask questions and participate in the History Book Club - the “Best Talk of Dover.” Please contact Larry Koch for questions at (302) 335-8344 or by email at For assistance with locating materials, please visit the library at 35 Loockerman Plaza in Dover or call us at (302) 736-7030.


Other activities taking place at the Dover Public Library:

February book displays will celebrate Black History Month.

February 10-28: Local artists will display work honoring Black History Month.

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Dover, DE

Jan 31, 2019 to Feb 28, 2019
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