RI African Heritage Civil Rights History Exhibit Opening, Teacher Workshop

The Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS), the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society (RIBHS), and Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) invite members of the public to an exhibit opening and panel discussion on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 6pm, at Aldrich House (110 Benevolent St., Providence).  The exhibit, Rhode Island African Heritage Civil Rights History, includes a timeline of people, places, and events in the continuing struggle for African American civil rights starting from 1652. The speaking program will feature Onna Moniz-JohnKeith Stokes, and James Vincent.

Teachers and educators are invited to attend a professional development workshop featuring new educational materials and a private preview of the exhibit. Although the curricula were developed for elementary and middle school classrooms, we welcome high school teachers to attend. The teachers’ workshop will begin at 4:00 p.m., and attendees are welcome to stay for the 6:00 p.m. public speaking program.  Please contact Geralyn Ducady at gducady@rihs.org to register for the workshop and/or the exhibit opening.

This work is supported by a $49,557.76 grant from the National Park Service (NPS) through its African American Civil Rights Grant Program, which assists projects that “document, interpret, and preserve the sites and stories related to the African American struggle to gain equal rights as citizens in the 20th Century.”

Rhode Island’s project spans three major efforts. In Phase 1, RIBHS researchers conducted oral history interviews, studied primary and secondary sources, and produced a comprehensive study of the state’s 20th-century African American Civil Rights history.  For Phase 2, Public Archaeology Lab (PAL), working primarily with the RIHPHC, is surveying historic sites, preparing survey sheets, and writing a narrative report that includes a context statement, analysis of the group of sites, and recommendations for National Register eligibility.  Phase 2 is slated to be completed in June, 2019. The exhibit, teachers’ workshop, and the release of new educational materials is part of the third and final phase of this multi-part project. A second exhibit, teacher workshop, and the development of a high school-level curriculum will occur in the fall of 2019.

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