‘Struggles for Equality’ series at The Old State House in February 2023

Beginning on Feb. 4 and continuing each Saturday through Feb. 25, 2023, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, Delaware, will present four programs as part of the series, “Struggles for Equality.” The series is being held in celebration of Black History Month, an annual observance that recognizes the invaluable contributions that the African-American community has made to the culture and history of the United States. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5054 or mailto:OSHmuseum@delaware.gov.

Photo of Little Richard
Little Richard will be among the artists explored in the program “The Evolution of Black Recorded Music: The Rock-n-Roll Soul” on Feb. 25, 2023.

“Struggles for Equality” schedule

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023
“Ending Erasure: The African Burial Ground.” Annie Fenimore, John Dickinson Plantation lead historic-site interpreter, will discuss the complex history of the Plantation’s African Burial Ground, believed to be the final resting place for enslaved and free Black men, women and children who died on the site. Archaeological research led to the identification of the burial ground in March of 2021. The program shares the historical context and archaeological research surrounding this significant piece of Delaware’s African American history. 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023
“The Letter of the Law.” Juliette Wurm, New Castle Court House Museum lead historic-site interpreter, will discuss the bias and racism written into the laws of Delaware from the American Revolution to Reconstruction and how those laws were enforced. 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023
“An Uphill Battle: The Unfulfilled Promise of the Civil War 1865-1896.” At the end of the Civil War, great change seemed promised with the first federal civil rights acts and amendments. Why instead did the nation descend into segregation? In this program, Gavin Malone, Old State House lead historic-site interpreter, explores the constitutional amendments, the first federal civil rights acts, Delaware’s political climate and reactions to federal legislation ending with the Plessy decision. 1 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023
“The Evolution of Black Recorded Music: The Rock-n-Roll Soul. ” Multimedia presentation examines the roles played by Chuck Berry, Little Richard, James Brown, Fats Domino, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the Detroit-based Motown Records in establishing rhythm and blues, soul and rock and roll music. Program will feature biographies, musical recordings and video clips from the 1940s through the 1960s. 1 p.m.

Photo of Old State House Restored Extention
Old State House

Completed in 1791, The Old State House is one of the earliest state-house buildings in the United States, serving as the home of Delaware’s legislature until 1933 when the General Assembly moved to larger quarters in Legislative Hall. The venerable structure now appears as it would have in the late 1700s during the United States’ critical early years as a nation. It features a courtroom, governor’s and county offices and chambers for the state’s Senate and House of Representatives. The building is situated on Dover’s historic Green, a public area designated by William Penn in 1683. The Green is a partner site of the First State National Historical Park.

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