New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Celebrates Black History Month

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is proud to offer a month of events in recognition of Black History Month beginning February 4th and continuing through the end of the month. All events are open to the public and free of charge. Although all the events will take place at the Visitor Center at 33 William St, New Bedford, MA 02740, two events will be hosted online and require pre-registration, and two will be hosted in the Corson Theater of the visitor center.

Saturday, February 4th at 1:00 PM, join us for a screening of the feature film Harriet: An American Legend. The film tells the extraordinary tale of Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. Following the screening we will host a discussion on the thrilling and inspirational life of this iconic American hero.

Thursday, February 9th at 6:00 PM, register for this online presentation and discussion on New Bedford’s Underground Railroad: New Bedford’s Most Powerful Protest. Ranger Rufai will share the stories of six of New Bedford’s agitators from our City’s Abolitionist and Anti-Slavery history. Local leaders include Nathan and Mary “Polly” Johnson, William and Lucinda Clark Bush, William Still, who is connected to New Bedford through his work in Philadelphia, Henry ‘Box’ Brown, Captain Daniel Drayton of the Schooner Pearl, and Andrew Robeson, Quaker Abolitionist.

Saturday, February 18th at 2:00 PM, register for this online presentation The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass in New Bedford: A conversation between Abby Almy, one of New Bedford’s 1850s Ladies and Frederick. Join with us as we view a prerecorded conversation between Frederick Douglass (Nathan Richardson) and his New Bedford neighbor Abby Almy (Judy Roderiques). Douglass and Almy talk about life in New Bedford, and the Anti-Slavery and Women’s Movements of the day. Following the pre-recorded presentation, Mr. Douglass and Mrs. Almy will be available for an online LIVE Q and A.

Saturday, February 25th at 2:00 PM, join us in the Corson Theater for Black Entrepreneurship Then and Now as we pay homage to three of New Bedford’s own 18th and 19th Century entrepreneurs: Paul Cuffe, Mary “Polly” Johnson, and Lewis Temple. From today, we will highlight Black Entrepreneurship in New Bedford with talks/presentations from Samia Walker, Executive Director, E For All SouthCoast; Lonelle Walker, Executive Director, Doers Lab NB; and Jaden Reyes, Brown Suga Stationery.

Established on November 12, 1996, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park serves as a model for community partnerships in the National Park Service. Located in the urban setting of downtown New Bedford that spans over 13 city blocks, the park and its partners preserve, protect, and interpret the cultural resources associated with the history of the American whaling industry. The park is more than whaling as it includes stories of global immigration, Underground Railroad, women’s history, cultural diversity, architecture, art, and their relevance to current topics. The Visitor Center is located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. Hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.The building is wheelchair-accessible and is fee-free. For more information, call 508-996-4095, visit nps.gov/NEBE or follow the park’s social media accounts on Facebook.com/NewBedfordNPS and Instagram.com/NewBedfordNPS.

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