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Black History Matters: We Must Overcome

  • Ker Place 69 Market Street Onancock, VA, 23417 United States (map)

Is the third in a a trilogy of Black History programs produced in conjunction of the Eastern Shore Historical Society and Why,Yes! Consulting

On February 12, 2016, Downstairs at Ker Place, was a program of dramatic interpretations of six (of 2300) slave narratives, collected during the 1930’s, as part of the Federal Writers Project. A jazz caberet featuring the Becky Livas Trio followed. Turnout was exceptional on the snowy Friday evening.

On February 10, 2017, Shore Black History Lives: How we Prayed, Played and Made a Way Out of No Way,  was a discussion of Black life on the Eastern Shore in the 1930’s -1950’s,  by a diverse panel of lively and lucid 90 year-olds.  The evening also featured the work of four artists with roots on Delmarva. Historic Ker Place was adorned with three dimensional artwork by artist/educator, Jack Johnson, folk artist, Mary “Mama Girl” Onley, author/illustrator, Vashti Harrison, and sculptor, Vinnie Bagwell.

Scheduled for February 9, 2018, the trilogy will climax with Black History Matters: We Must Overcome, The topics of integration, education, and religion during the turbulent Civil Rights Era will be explored by actors, activists, pastors and performers. The songs, symbols, speeches and struggles of the 60’s will be strategically staged throughout the historic home. The letters of Dr. King will be paired with the refrain of “We Shall Overcome”. The rationale of Thurgood Marshall and Brown v Board of Education will rise above the boom of “Bombingham” and vitriol of George Wallace, as the melody of I Shall Not be Moved is heard in the background. A mellifluous interpretation of Mahalia Jackson will ring above the roar and rhetoric of Adam Clayton Powell.

Commitment to participate at the event, has been obtained from speakers familiar to the Society and the Shore.  The Honorable Samuel H. Cooper Jr.  Accomack County Clerk of Court, Bishop David Sabatino, Pastor and Accomack County Public School Teacher, and Decola Pettit-Johnson, retired paraprofessional with Accomack County Schools. New for the third in the trilogy are Rev. Milton Palmer Bunting, Ms. Ann Jimerson and Mr. Rich Follet.  These featured speakers will be supported by small cast of local singers and actors including, Norm Wells, Catrina Satchall, Rose Tyler and Thelma Coston.

There will be a cash bar and light hors d'oeuvres will be served. 

Earlier Event: December 9
Holiday Open House