The Fourth Annual Citywide Black History Celebration is a series of events highlighting local African American history, culture, art, music, and theater.
Mark your calendars for The 2020 Citywide Black History Celebration.
Our Citywide Black History Celebration kicks-off on Thursday, January 30 and continues through the months of February and March in different locations throughout Dover. The 2020 Citywide Black History Celebration is brought to you by the Delaware State News and our partners, Biggs Museum of American Art, Delaware State University, Inner City Cultural League, Dover Public Library, Sankofa Cultural Arts Center, and DonDel Productions.
The theme of this year's Celebration is "Educational Advancement through History & the Arts" which will be explored with the following programs:
Local African American Voices
Thursday, January 30, 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, the Delaware State University Concert Choir and the Delaware State University Gospel Choir. In addition, there will be historical interpretations by Delaware State University students and faculty of interviews with Delaware African Americans. Enjoy a mixture of spiritual and gospel music, both old and new, added to the voices from the past and the contemporary rhythm of spoken word at this assembly of wonderful talent! Tickets are not required for this event.
Delaware's Minority Education Before Integration
Friday, February 7, 7 - 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) Saturday, February 8, 12 - 1:30 p.m. (doors open at 11 a.m.) Saturday, February 8, 4 - 5:30 p.m. (doors open at 3 p.m.) Sankofa Cultural Arts Center, 39 S. West Street, Dover, Delaware 19901
Delaware's Minority Education Before Integration ~ This program is designed to acquaint the public with the Delaware High Schools opened in the early 1950s to serve the African American, Native American and Moor student populations including the impact these schools had on the future of Delaware. The program will feature alumni from the William H. Henry High School telling their personal stories from that time.
The invocation and introductions will be by Rev. Dr. John G. Moore, Sr., and moderator Dr. Donna Blakey will conduct interviews of the William H. Henry High School alumni members.
Live musical performances throughout the program by the Sankofa African Drummers and Dancers and the Sankofa String Orchestra.
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 beginning Tuesday, January 21 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
Lessons: An Exhibition By Billy Colbert
On display from February 7 through March 29, 2020
Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street, Dover, Delaware 19901
Artist Reception: Wednesday, February 19, 5 - 7 p.m. (doors open at 4 p.m.)
The Biggs Museum invites you to the “Meet the Artist” reception for Lessons: An Exhibition By Billy Colbert sponsored by Chesapeake Utilities. The topic of African American education under segregation will be highlighted through multimedia installations of rare videos and photographs of the time alongside artifacts from segregated schools provided by African American community members from Kent County.
We encourage you to be a part of this developing project. Billy Colbert, a Fine Arts Professor from Delaware State University, will be collecting oral histories from the local community centering on their experiences with education under segregation in Delaware. He hopes to compile these interviews into a documentary of local history, which will be broadcast from the museum. See the interview schedule on the museum’s website at biggsmuseum.org or call 302-674-2111 x 108 to make an appointment to share your story and help paint an accurate depiction of the time for future generations.
Admission is free for the "Meet the Artist" reception as well as for the First Saturday celebrations on February 1st 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 7th - March 29th. The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Sundays 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. www.biggsmuseum.org.
For this exhibition, the Biggs Museum is hoping that citizens of Greater Kent County and Delaware State University alumni can lend vital materials that relate to Delaware’s Segregated Schools, including but not limited to: schoool photos, report cards, yearbooks, school art projects and your own artwork that relates to the topic of segregated schools. The project organizers will select objects to include in the display of local materials.
If you have questions, contact Biggs Museum Curator, Ryan Grover at 302-674-2111 x 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have recommendations for people who should be interviewed about Delaware’s segregated schools, contact Biggs Museum Curator, Ryan Grover at 302-674-2111 x 108 or email@example.com.
If you have materials, whether they are new artworks or older archives, contact the Biggs Museum’s registrar, David Clapp at 302-674-2111 x 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to set up a time to drop-off works and fill out the correct loan forms.
Citywide Black History Celebration Events at the Dover Public Library
Dover Public Library, 35 E. Loockerman Street, Dover, Delaware 19901
From Africa to the Americas Via Music, Song, Dance and Stories
Friday, February 21, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Join Kamau Ngom for a journey from Africa to the Americas using music, song, dance, and stories as mediums, highlighting the similarities between traditional African culture and African influenced culture in the Americas. Audience participation is a must as this is a village-oriented presentation. This event is part of the Celebrate the Arts programming.
The Woman's Suffrage Movement - Below the Color Line
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
In 1920 the 19th Amendment was ratified giving women the right to vote, a struggle that almost predates the founding of the country. This created many women heroes who sacrificed their time, money, and social status to win that right. In 1920 and before, the United States was in the Jim Crow Era of history. Schools were segregated, restaurants did not service African Americans, and justice through lynchings were still a common practice. Disregarding the obstacles, many courageous African American women fought to assure that African American women got the right to vote when white women got the right to vote. Sometimes we forget what struggles had to be overcome in order to arrive at the United States we see today. It is worth a trip back in history to say thank you to the leaders of the Woman's Suffrage Movement, both white and black. This program is presented by historian Syl Woolford. Please call the library at 302-736-7030 for more information.