The Portsmouth Public Library, Main Branch and Black History Now present an African American History Expo. Celebrate African American history and music featuring handcrafted items, music from Porte Towne Magic, and speaker Jack Gary, Director of Archaeology for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Mr. Gary will discuss the excavations at the First Baptist Church in Williamsburg. The church was organized in 1776 by a group of courageous slaves and free blacks who wanted to worship God in their own way. Learn the fascinating history of this early African American congregation. Free Event.
The Portsmouth History Museums and Black History Now present Dr. Linda Upham-Bornstein’s presentation Engineer Loammi Baldwin, Urban Slavery, and the Construction of Dry Dock #1 at Gosport Shipyard. When Dry Dock 1 at today’s Norfolk Naval Shipyard was built in the 1830s, the labor necessary to complete it included enslaved stonecutters who were paid for their expertise. Hiring out skilled slaves caused controversy, but not for the reasons you might think. Discover more about this fascinating piece of Shipyard history when Dr. Upham-Bornstein, Teaching Lecturer in History at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH presents her research, first published in the Journal of Labor in 2007. Free event.
About the photo: A “c.1920 painting depicting the U.S.S. Delaware, the first ship to enter the Stone Dock, a.k.a., today’s Dry Dock #1 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Image courtesy of the Naval Historical Center.”
The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center and Black History Now present the Tuskegee Airmen: The First Top Guns. In May of 1949, the U.S. Military was still segregated. The U.S. Air Force held the first Gunnery Meet in Las Vegas, NV, where five “fighter groups” sent their best pilots and crews to compete, including the all African American 332nd Tuskegee Airmen fighter group. Come hear the details of this little known and fascinating story presented by Howard and Richard Baugh, two sons of decorated WWII fighter pilot, Lt. Col. Howard Lee Baugh. Free event.
The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center along with Black History Now is proud to present University of Virginia Professor Dr. Louis P. Nelson to discuss The Architecture of Democracy in a Landscape of Slavery: An Illustrated Presentation. The University of Virginia is closely associated with Thomas Jefferson and is an architectural testament to the enlightened visions at that time, while also being a location where slavery was practiced. Dr. Nelson provides illustrated examples on how the uses of architecture and landscape at this national landmark might actually reflect Mr. Jefferson’s own views on slavery. Free event.
Portsmouth Public Library and Black History Now presents Caribbean Dreaming, an opportunity to explore Caribbean Steel Drums through a historical and musical demonstration. Learn how drums were outlawed on many Caribbean islands and how they came to be made from steel. A unique sound and art form was created by politics. Learn how the people of the Caribbean became independent and at the same time created an art all their own. Free event.
Participate in our Black History Trivia Contest. Hint: answers are on the bulletin board. Kid-friendly.
Discover African American scientists and their significant contributions during the month of February. Their profiles will be featured throughout the 2nd floor and experiments related to their work will be highlighted in S.T.E.M. Studio each weekend.
The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center and Black History Now 2022 presents Java & Djembes, an African percussion workshop featuring coffees and chocolates from the African continent. Participants enjoy coffees and fine chocolates from Africa while learning percussion rhythms from master musician Kamiruri Kelly of the Day Program. Price is $10 per person. Ages 17 and up please. To register, go online to www.portsmouthartcenter.com or call 757-393-8543.
Ms. Martha Razor presents “The Donkey Who Lost his Memory,” a children’s story and puppet show written by a Portsmouth student. Guests will have the opportunity to hear and particiapte in the story and then create their own stick puppet to take home. First session is at 10:30 a.m. with a second session to follow at 2:30 p.m. Requires Children’s Museum admission.
Drop by Portsmouth’s Main Library to make a peace dove in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. All ages are welcome. Free.