Presented by Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
This month, #VisitWilm and explore events and attractions filled with history in celebration of Black History Month. The events scheduled feature different historical museums throughout the State of Delaware. Take a look into the past at the First State's role in many major historic events.
Don’t forget to check out a full list of events celebrating African American History in Greater Wilmington.
Celebrate Black History Month throughout Delaware:
Feb. 8, 2020 - The Old State House
“The Summers Family: A Generational Story.” African American History Month guided tours explore the true story of the manumission (granting of freedom) of two slave children—Ruth and Thomas Summers—which took place in 1797 in the Kent County Recorder of Deeds office, located in what is now called The Old State House. The children were manumitted by their own father, James Summers, a free African American, who had obtained them from their former owner.
Feb. 8, 2020 - Johnson Victrola Museum
“Blood and Soil.” Screening and discussion of episode two of the three-part PBS documentary “American Epic” which explores how the ordinary people of America were given the opportunity to make records for the first time. Presented in celebration of African American History Month.
Feb. 8, 2020 - John Dickinson Plantation
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts.
Feb. 12, 2020 - The Old State House
“With Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln in Words and Pictures.” Historian Dan Pritchett will discuss Lincoln’s love of language and his ability to use words to influence and inspire people and to transform the nation.
Feb. 14, 2020 - The Old State House
Concert by Ronn McFarlane. Lute player presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park.
Feb. 15, 2020– Lewes Public Library
“African Americans on the Eastern Shore.” Lecture by Jim Blackwell of the Seaford Museum exploring Eastern Shore history, slavery, the Ross family and Harriet Tubman. Presented in celebration of African American History Month.
Feb. 15, 2020 - Johnson Victrola Museum
“Out of the Many, the One.” Screening and discussion of the final episode of the three-part PBS documentary “American Epic” which explores how the ordinary people of America were given the opportunity to make records for the first time. Presented in celebration of African American History Month.
Feb. 15, 2020- The Old State House
The African American Experience in Delaware.” Historic-site interpreter Dennis Fisher explores Delaware’s rich African American culture, history and legacy from the 18th to the 20th century.
Feb. 17, 2020
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.
Feb. 22, 2020– New Castle Public Library
“Revisiting the Founding Era.” Presentation by Bob Vander Decker, historical interpreter for the New Castle Court House Museum and Boy Scouts of America district leader. Presented in partnership with the New Castle Public Library. Boy Scouts can earn requirements for several scout-related merit badges by attending the program. Girl Scouts and all interested youths (ages 12-18) are also welcome.
Feb. 22, 2020-- The Old State House
“The Women’s Suffrage Movement: Below the Color-Line.” African American History Month program by historian Syl Woolford explores the struggle for women to gain the right to vote and the role played by black women in the movement.
Feb. 22, 2020-- Zwaanendael Museum
“Coffee, Cross Stitch and Conversation.” Stitch-along program with guidance from museum historical interpreter and cross stitcher Madeline Golden. One of two original patterns featuring the Zwaanendael Museum will be available for participants as they enjoy refreshments and conversation while working on their chosen design. Appropriate for both beginners and advanced cross stitchers.
Feb. 23, 2020--The Old Stone House
“George Washington’s Unique Skill in Picking Top Talent.” Presentation by Dr. Sam Hoff of Delaware State University and museum historical interpreter Tom Welch on the men that Washington chose to serve in the military, in his spy networks, in his Cabinet and on the Supreme Court.
Ongoing Events and Displays
John Dickinson Plantation: Simple Machines and Five Stories
Zwaanendael Museum: A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World and Delaware Railroads: Elegant Travel and Timely Transport
New Castle Courthouse Museum: New Castle: Three Forts, One Community, The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware, and Sculpture by Charles Parks