The Hermitage Celebrates Black History Month With Free Educational Programs
HERMITAGE, Tenn. (Jan. 31, 2018) – Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is partnering with the Nashville Public Library, First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and Tennessee State University to commemorate Black History Month. The programs and events are all free and open to the public, and are located throughout Nashville area.
During February, visitors can attend an African-American history and genealogy workshop, musical programs, lectures, and a memorial service honoring those who were enslaved at The Hermitage.
“The history of African-Americans is tightly woven into the history of The Hermitage and Andrew Jackson. It is an honor for the Andrew Jackson Foundation to partner with the many organizations and individuals who share our commitment to outstanding programming, especially concerning African-American history, and support The Hermitage’s mission to educate our patrons through the 2018 Black History Month programming,” said Howard J. Kittell, president and CEO of Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage.
Black History Month concludes with a memorial service on-site at the Hermitage Church to commemorate those who were enslaved at The Hermitage.
For more information about Black History Month events at The Hermitage, please see the list of events below or visit www.thehermitage.com/events/. Visitors can reserve free tickets for any of the events online.
2018 Black History Month Schedule
Researching African-American History and Genealogy
Saturday, Feb. 3
Nashville Public Library
Join us for a free afternoon workshop on genealogy and preservation at the Nashville Public Library, downtown location. Interested in discovering your family’s roots? Want to preserve your family’s mementos and photographs? The African-American Historical & Genealogical Society will be offering guidance on how to get started with your genealogy research and some of the resources available. Staff from The Hermitage will also be sharing tips on preserving family photos and antique keepsakes for the long term.
Following the presentation, AAHGS members will offer personal consultation sessions with anyone wanting to discuss specific questions and challenges with their family research.
Spiritual Songs: Music That Built a Nation
Saturday, Feb. 10
The Avon Williams Center, Tennessee State University
Join us at 1 p.m. in the Avon Williams Center at TSU or at 4 p.m. in downtown Nashville’s First Lutheran Church for an afternoon of music and history with Dr. Naima Johnston-Bush, who will be sharing her program “Spiritual Songs: History of African-American Music.” Dr. Johnston-Bush will explore the history of spiritual music and its evolution as an American art form. Her dynamic voice brings each song alive, tracing the history of this powerful musical expression of faith. The audience is led from the 1600s to the present, illustrating the impact and influence of African-American spiritual music in all musical genres today.
A Journey Through Slavery at the Whitney Plantation: Lecture With Dr. Ibrahima Seck
Saturday, Feb. 17
First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University
The Whitney Plantation, a former indigo and sugar plantation located on the Mississippi River in Louisiana, has received international attention for its recent opening as a museum entirely focused on telling the stories of slavery. At Whitney, the visitors are offered a unique perspective on the lives of Louisiana’s enslaved people using restored historic buildings, museum exhibits, memorial artwork and hundreds of first-person slave narratives. As a site of memory and consciousness, the Whitney Plantation Museum is meant to pay homage to all the people who were enslaved in Louisiana and everywhere else in the United States of America.
In his lecture, Dr. Seck will present the history of the Whitney Plantation in the wider context of the Atlantic slave trade and will touch on many topics related to the cultural legacies of slavery in Louisiana. The site is designed not only to be a place of memory and emotion, but also to show deeper and often ignored legacies of slavery related to culture. It is the conviction of the founders of Whitney that the history of slavery is not only a history of deportation and hard labor on tobacco and rice fields, and in/around indigo vats and sugar mills. Beyond building the original foundations of the U.S. economy, the enslaved Africans and their descendants contributed to shaping and defining American culture and identity. Dr. Seck will also pinpoint the importance of education and sites of memory like Whitney as catalysts toward the second American Revolution and the birth of post-racial America.
Black History Month Memorial Service
Saturday, Feb. 24
11 a.m.–12 p.m.
The Hermitage Church
Join us for our annual commemoration of those enslaved here at The Hermitage and throughout the country. The service will feature guest speaker Nicole A. Moore of the Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta. Guests will conclude the service by participating in a procession to the slavery memorial “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” located behind the Hermitage Church. Some 150 flowers will be laid, marked with the names of all those known to have been enslaved at The Hermitage. Minister Green will then lead a libation ritual, a spiritual ceremony to honor the ancestors commonly found in traditional African religions.