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Celebrate Black History Month at these events

Mary L. Romney-Schaab will present her book on Feb. 6.

Author to speak at Black History Month event

The public is invited to take part in Erasing the Silence: The Story of an Afro-Caribbean in the Nazi Era, on Feb. 6, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center, 8339 Old York Road, Elkins Park.

City Councilman Isaiah Thomas is partnering with HAMEC to present this Black History Month event.

Mary L. Romney-Schaab will present her book, An Afro-Caribbean in the Nazi Era: From Papiamentu to German. The book details the story of her father, Lionel Romney, an Afro-Caribbean man who survived the transit camp Fossoli and was then taken to Mauthausen.

As a survivor of the Nazi camp system, HAMEC believes Lionel’s story is particularly unique, as his voice is the representation of a survivor of color.

Romney-Schaab is a black woman of Caribbean descent whose roots are in the island nation of Sint Maarten. Born in New York City, her mother was the daughter of Sint Maarten immigrants and her father was from Sint Maarten.

A retired educator, Romney spent more than 40 years teaching English as a second or foreign language in Madrid, New York, Barcelona and Connecticut.

The talk will take place from 2-3 p.m., followed by a Q&A for students and teachers from 3 to 3:30 p.m.

Register at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_iJgr1SVNQbGJQ6Xq9P8iVA

History meeting on abolitionist

In honor of Black History Month, the Northeast Philadelphia History Network will hold a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. Historian Jack McCarthy will speak on Robert Purvis in Byberry. Purvis [1810-1898] was a black abolitionist and civil rights activist. During the 30-some years he lived in Byberry (1840s-1870s) Purvis made the community a well-known center of abolitionism and social activism, while continuing his clandestine Underground Railroad activities. In 1846-1847 he spearheaded the building of Byberry Hall (still standing), which hosted nationally known speakers to discuss anti-slavery and social issues of the time.

Join the Zoom meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85892399375?pwd=UjdCU2JwNEpURVExZnZkbTJMcWJBUT09. The meeting ID is 858 9239 9375. The passcode is 519658. 

Learn about free black Philadelphian

As part of the Museum of the American Revolution’s Black History Month celebration, guests can explore the life and legacy of James Forten, a free black Philadelphian, Revolutionary War privateer and stalwart abolitionist.

The museum will present a first-person theatrical performance, Meet James Forten, on Thursday, Feb. 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The 20-minute live performance will be followed by a discussion with the audience. The event will take place in person at the museum, 3rd and Chestnut streets, and will be livestreamed for ticketed online audiences.

During the talkback session, actor Nathan Alford-Tate and Michael Idriss, the museum’s African American Interpretive Fellow, will discuss how and why this new theatrical piece was created and why Forten’s story continues to resonate with audiences today. Kalela Williams, founder of Black History Maven and a member of the museum’s Diversify Living History Advisory Committee, will moderate the conversation.

The museum’s senior manager of gallery interpretation, Tyler Putman, will provide opening remarks about Brave Men as Ever Fought, a new painting by historical artist Don Troiani that shows a significant moment in Forten’s life.

Onsite tickets to this event include access to the Liberty special exhibition, a cash bar and activities at a discovery cart from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The performance will begin at 6:30 for onsite and online audiences, with the discussion to follow. Onsite tickets include an option to access the online Zoom link and participate from home. Tickets range from $10-$20.

Guests attending this program in person will be required to show proof of vaccination upon entry.

Call 267-579-3046.

A celebration of Harriet Tubman

The city Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy recently unveiled a temporary 9-foot Harriet Tubman – The Journey to Freedom sculpture at City Hall and announced a series of celebration events.

The temporary installation of Tubman is on the north apron of City Hall.

The sculptor is Wesley Wofford, of Wofford Sculpture Studio, and his work will be in place through March 31. Philadelphia will be home to the sculpture for Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday.

The traveling monument represents Tubman’s journey to free enslaved people.

“Philadelphia holds a specific relevance to Harriet’s story as the city she found safe harbor in after her escape from Maryland, as well as staging many of her returning raids to free others from the bondage of slavery,” Wofford said.

Coinciding with the installation of the sculpture in Philadelphia, OACCE announced a schedule of more than 30 programs in partnership with local cultural organizations that will celebrate Tubman’s legacy.

These virtual and in-person programs will happen throughout Philadelphia and will reflect the themes of activism, role models, heroes, human rights, freedom, resilience, determination, contributions of strong women, equality and more. Featured programs include a historical timeline exhibit of Tubman’s life and an exhibition of textile art at City Hall; screenings of the movie Harriet with introductions by local activists and community leaders; music, dance and theater performances; a virtual conversation among notable local artists focusing on the power of public art; historical tours; art-making activities; author and artist discussions; and celebrations of the anniversary of Tubman’s 200th birthday; and much more.

For more information, visit creativephl.org/harriet-tubman.

Black History Month programming at Kimmel

The Kimmel Cultural Campus and the Philadelphia Orchestra, along with the Philadelphia Ballet, Philly POPS and Opera Philadelphia, will commemorate Black History Month with programming honoring black artistic expression and culture.

Masks are to be worn at all times as well as proof of vaccination for those 12 and older. Guests under 12 will be required to show a negative PCR test result or negative rapid test. 

“The Kimmel Cultural Campus celebrates Black History Month with multidisciplinary stage presentations and student matinees that recognize the defining contributions black artists have made on the communities of Philadelphia and far beyond,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center Inc.

The celebration kicks off with opera singer Angel Blue and the Philadelphia Orchestra in Verizon Hall, Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 3-5.

The Kimmel Cultural Campus also celebrates Black History Month with an array of digital programs. These events put a spotlight on the music of the civil rights movement as well as modern-day struggles for equality, the cultural enlightenment of the Harlem Renaissance and a “Hip Hop Recess.”

Follow Kimmel Cultural Campus social media channels to read quotes from black artists and cultural leaders as part of the Black History Month celebration.

Check out https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4vtcnPDknJSMFqgQH5oMKi?si=f938adad26ae4272&nd=1, Kimmel’s Black History Month playlist on Spotify.

For a list of all Black History Month events, visit www.KimmelCulturalCampus.org or call 215-893-1999. 

Learn about generational wealth

In honor of Black History Month, the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement and the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males are holding their third annual Black Generational Wealth series for the bi-monthly My Brother’s Keeper Action Academy, a national program established by President Obama to close opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color.

This series is structured into weekly financial empowerment events held every Thursday throughout February to empower black men and their allies with the tools and resources necessary to obtain and maintain generational wealth. The BGW series will hold four different workshops covering topics like financial literacy, accessing city resources and initiatives, entrepreneurship, and transferring wealth.  These seminars will feature local business leaders, financial experts and city officials.

Members of the public can join OBME and MCAAM virtually to gather the tools to realize their financial vision and empower generations to come. See the full series and topics below. All times are 6-8 p.m.

  • Make That Change: A Workshop on Personal Financial Literacy, Feb. 3.
  • Tell the Vision: Opportunities to Build with the City of Philadelphia, Feb. 10.
  • Built to Last:  Business Strategies to Endure Challenging Times, Feb. 17.
  • What’s Next?: Transferring Knowledge to the Next Generation, Feb. 24.

Participants can sign up at https://secure.ngpvan.com/p/38lDlTJ6dkyQBJysKHH3ww2.

Black History Month exhibition at Smith Playground

Smith Memorial Playground, 3500 Reservoir Drive, will host a Black History Month exhibition, Leaders and Legends of Philadelphia, from Feb. 5-28.

This visual and audio experience will take place on Smith’s front lawn and will highlight the work of blacks in the fields of law, music, journalism, education, sports, medicine, and the performing arts.

Some of the honorees aree Joan Myers Brown, founder of Philadanco; Hall of Fame Basketball coach, the late John Chaney; Robert Bogle, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Tribune newspaper; and the late Ed Bradley, journalist for CBS News television.

Meet some of the honorees on Feb. 5 from noon to 1 p.m. Tickets not required. 

Museum has Black History Month programming

The African American Museum, 701 Arch St., has announced a collection of onsite and virtual programming in observation of Black History Month.

Throughout the month of February, the museum will host movie screenings, artist workshops, musical performances and open discussions.

The full list is at https://www.aampmuseum.org/calendar.html.

The museum will be open, with limited capacity, Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance registration is recommended for onsite events and in-person visitors. All visitors are required to go through COVID-19 protocols before entry to the museum, and guests are required to wear masks while in the museum.

Museum hosting racial understanding conversation

[Photo, credit to museum]The Museum of the American Revolution and the Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust will hold a conversation on the role of historical education in racial understanding on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

The forum, entitled Race in the United States: Connecting the Dots Between 1776 and Today, will take place live at the museum, 3rd and Chestnut streets, and will be livestreamed online. Admission is free, but RSVP is required.

The forum takes place as part of the museum’s Black History Month celebration.

Panelists will include Dr. Jennifer Janofsky, the Giordano Fellow in Public History at Rowan University and the Director of Red Bank Battlefield Park in National Park, New Jersey, and Michael Idriss, the museum’s African American Interpretive Fellow. Adrienne G. Whaley, the museum’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, will moderate the conversation.

To attend, email dfcltforum@gmail.com. All onsite attendees will receive free admission to the museum’s galleries.

All visitors ages 5 and up are required to show proof of vaccination upon entry. Visitors 18 and older must also show a matching valid ID. Masks are required for visitors ages 2 and up.

Museum to celebrate Black History Month

The Museum of the American Revolution, 3rd and Chestnut streets, is celebrating Black History Month.

Through a forum on racial understanding, a newly commissioned painting in its Liberty special exhibition, theatrical performances and more, the museum will present a history of the Revolution and the nation’s beginnings.

The offerings include a Feb. 17 Read the Revolution Speaker Series event with historian and author Kari J. Winter on formerly enslaved Revolutionary War veteran Jeffrey Brace, featuring a conversation with his descendant, Rhonda Brace. The event goes from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“Uncovering and sharing often-untold stories about a diverse range of people is at the heart of what we do here at the Museum every day,” said Adrienne Whaley, Director of Education and Community Engagement. “But during Black History Month, we are shining a special spotlight on the black men and women who played essential roles in establishing our nation and their continuing legacies today.”

The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-253-6731, at amrevmuseum.org or at the front desk. Save $2 per adult ticket by purchasing online. Kids ages 5 and under are always free. Revolutionary Place discovery center is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All visitors ages 5 and up will be required to show proof of vaccination; visitors 18 and older must also show a matching valid ID. An original CDC vaccination card or a photo or electronic copy of the card are all acceptable forms of documentation. Proof of a negative COVID test will not be accepted. Masks are required for visitors ages 2 and up. 

Book discussion on enslaved man

Historian and author Kari J. Winter will discuss the memoir of Jeffrey Brace, an enslaved man who won his freedom through service during the Revolutionary War, on Thursday, Feb. 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Museum of the American Revolution, 3rd and Chestnut streets.

The 1810 memoir, which Winter republished in 2005, recounts Brace’s journey from enslavement to free farmer to abolitionist. Following the talk, Winter will be joined by family historian Rhonda Brace, a descendant of Jeffrey Brace, for a question-and-answer session with the onsite and online audiences.

The event is part of the museum’s Black History Month celebration.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for onsite guests to see a featured artifact, enjoy refreshments at a cash bar, and have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the book. Tickets are $20 for general admission onsite and $15 for Zoom-only access. Buy tickets at amrevmuseum.org

Guests attending this program in person will be required to show proof of COVID vaccination upon entry.

Programs celebrate Black History Month

Six programs will take place near or at Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church, 412 Pine St., over Presidents’ Day weekend.

There will be a visit from the Lest We Forget Museum of Slavery Traveling Exhibit. Gwen Ragsdale, executive director and curator of the museum, will present original slave artifacts, Jim Crow objects, bill-of-sale documents and more. This presentation is suitable for youngsters 12 years and older. It will be set up at the Old Pine Community Center, 425 Lombard St., Sunday, Feb. 20, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Masks and vaccine ID required. Free to the public. Donations welcomed.

Mosaics by students of George B. Nebinger Elementary School, 601 Carpenter St., modeled on freedom quilts created by women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, will be on display throughout the weekend.

For more information on the weekend activities, text Alice Reyes at 215-603-1510 or email oldpine1768@gmail.com.

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