Tag Archives: Frederick Douglass Honor Society

2014 Juneteenth Event to Celebrate Local Heroes and Emancipation through Art and Music

AAM-Juneteenth---Art-projects-2---0612 Bryan-Collier-(595x800) Headshot--Ian-Young2014 Juneteenth Event to Celebrate Local Heroes and Emancipation through Art and Music 

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the Academy Art Museum are hosting the fourth annual Juneteenth event, Celebrating Heroes and Emancipation Day, which takes place on Saturday, June 21, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Academy Art Museum.  Juneteenth commemorates the Emancipation Proclamation and the achievements of African- Americans.

Easton’s Juneteenth celebration started with the dedication of the Frederick Douglass statue on Talbot County’s courthouse lawn. Subsequent years, the Juneteenth event honored the remarkable achievements of World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen and the archeological finds of the Hill Project, highlighting the early local African American community heritage, and heroic forbearers like Buffalo Soldier William Gardner.

This year, the event will focus on Gospel music with performances by numerous choirs and musical groups from around our region. Local schools and community gospel choirs have all signed on to celebrate singers and songwriters from the past who have inspired people through song.  Featured will be Ian Young, 2014 graduate of Easton High School and local singer/songwriter Kentavius Jones.  In addition, Talbot County native son, Monte’ Henry; Voice Professor Dr. John Wesley Wright from Salisbury University; and Faye Wilson and the BCD Ensemble out of Salisbury, MD, will sing at Friday’s opening reception at the Museum where local legends, Rev. Mary Sullivan and Rev. William F. Holt, will be honored.

The Museum is hosting an exhibition by renowned children’s book illustrator Bryan Collier,Bryan Collier, Illustrator: Celebrating Juneteenth,” May 10 through July 20, 2014. Originally from Pocomoke on the lower Eastern Shore, Mr. Collier has won numerous awards for his work, including the prestigious Caldecott Honor Medal for Martin’s Big Words:  the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   As part of our Juneteenth celebration, Mr. Collier will offer a book reading and will sign his works. There will also be a pottery demonstration by African-American ceramic artist Ernest Satchell.

The Museum will also offer a fun family art project creating colorful silhouette art and student art work, which will be hung on the Museum’s fence (weather permitting). There will also be informational displays and vendors providing food including crab cakes, fried fish, pit beef, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, and more. Crafts, books, art, and jewelry will also be on sale. The event will be held rain or shine at the Academy Art Museum at 106 South Street, Easton, Maryland. For further information, visit www.academyartmuseum.org/juneteenth or call 410-822-2787.

Photo #1: Bryan Collier, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. cared about all Americans,” from Martin’s Big Words, 2001, Water color and collage. Renowned children’s book illustrator, Bryan Collier’s exhibition, “Bryan Collier, Illustrator: Celebrating Juneteenth,” will be on display during the Juneteenth Celebration where Collier will present a book reading and book signing.

Photo #2:  As part of the 2014 Juneteenth Celebration at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, families will be able to participate in a fun family art project. Student art work will be hung on the Museum’s fence (weather permitting). 

Photo #3: Featured entertainment, in addition to school and community gospel choirs, will be singer Ian Young, 2014 graduate of Easton High School, and local singer/songwriter Kentavius Jones. 

Juneteenth Celebration Highlights African-American History, Art, Music

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the Academy Art Museum hosted its annual Juneteenth celebration on the front lawn of the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland.

Juneteenth, one of the most important African American holidays in the country, marks the abolition of slavery. It commemorates the date – June 19, 1865 – when the slaves in Galveston, Texas first received the word of the Emancipation Proclamation, which Abraham Lincoln had issued two and one-half years earlier on January 1, 1863.

The weekend’s events kicked off on Friday night with Professor Dale Green’s lecture, “Let the Land Tell the Story,” sponsored by The Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the Academy Art Museum about the research being done on “The Hill” in Easton through a partnership between Morgan State University, Historic Easton, Inc., the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, and the University of Maryland at College Park. On Saturday, the celebration showcased African American achievements in the arts, music, and history, including honoring four local heroes from Talbot County: Grace Brooks, an 18th century entrepreneur; William Gardner, a 19th century sergeant in the U.S. Army and a “Buffalo Soldier;” Walter Black, Jr., a 20th century champion of civil rights and community leader; and Shane Fisher, a 21st century graduate and leader from St. Michaels High School.

Jazz and gospel music was provided by several local church choirs, and The Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Jazz Combo from Baltimore. There was also a performance of African dance and music by the Sankofa Dance Theatre, a nationally recognized dance troupe from Baltimore.

This year’s Celebration also included a strong focus on African American art with an exhibition by Janet Taylor Pickett and acclaimed ceramic artist Ernest Satchell. Student art from Talbot County Public Schools was also on display on the fence in front of the Museum, portraying the theme of “freedom.” Other activities included inspirational readings by young leaders and a “Knowledge Village” that showcased African-American community organizations and programs.

Support for the event came from Paris Foods Corporation, Maryland State Arts Council, and other public and private partners.

In photo: Pictured is a member of the Sankofa Dance Theatre, a nationally recognized dance troupe from Baltimore, who entertained the audience at the Juneteenth Celebration.

Frederick Douglass Day Raises $6,000 For Scholarship Fund

From left: Frederick Douglass Day Co-Chair Harriette Lowery, Frederick Douglass Day committee member Clairdean Black, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) President Langley Shook, Frederick Douglass Honor Society (FDHS) President Eric Lowery, Frederick Douglass Day Co-Chair Karen Shook, and Frederick Douglass Scholarship Fund committee member Paulette Brooks recently met at the Frederick Douglass statue on the Talbot County Courthouse lawn in Easton, MD to jointly donate proceeds from this year’s Frederick Douglass Day in support of the Frederick Douglass Scholarship Fund, held at the Mid-Shore Community Foundation in Easton, MD. CBMM and FDHS jointly organized the May 5 event, which was held along CBMM’s waterfront campus in St. Michaels, MD. More than four hundred visitors attended the event, with $6,000 raised to benefit the Frederick Douglass Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org or www.frederickdouglasshonorsociety.org.

 

Tuskegee Airmen to Tell Their Stories at Upcoming Juneteenth Celebration

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the Academy Art Museum will host its Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 16, 2012, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland.

This year’s Juneteenth Celebration will include a special screening of the new documentary “Double Victory” about the historic role of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II at 2:30 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre in Easton. These pioneering African Americans bravely fought a war on two fronts: fascism abroad and racial injustice at home. The documentary, “Double Victory,” was produced by George Lucas and serves as a companion to the feature film “Red Tails” now in theatres nationwide. A panel discussion will follow the screening, featuring original Tuskegee Airmen sharing their personal experience, moderated by Vic Carter, WJZ’S Eyewitness News Co-Anchor. The program is part of the Double Victory Museum Tour, which also includes an Education Guide and Faith Study Guide.

According to Byron Morris of Bowie, who served as President of the East Coast Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen between 2008 and 2010, and who will be a part of the panel discussion, “What is special about connecting the Tuskegee Airmen to the Juneteenth celebration in Easton is that it will help draw attention to these outstanding gentlemen, who were the first of their kind to do what they did.” He adds, “The Tuskegee Airmen represented a continuation of the hopes and dreams of that earlier time and what African Americans could become in their country.”

Morris graduated from the Tuskegee Institute in 1964, where he was an Air Force ROTC Cadet, with a degree in Electrical Construction Engineering, Over the years, he worked for IBM, the Air Force located at the Pentagon, and then as Deputy Base Civil Engineer at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC until his retirement in 2002. With an abiding interest in history, and particularly the Tuskegee Airmen, he joined the East Coast Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen. One of the highlights of his time with the organization has been serving as the Chairperson of its Speakers Bureau where he came to know a number of Tuskegee Airmen, facilitating them telling their stories to the community over the last 18 years.

The Tuskegee Airmen flew in the Mediterranean theater of operations, and completed 15,000 sorties in approximately 1,500 missions, destroyed over 260 enemy aircraft, sank one enemy destroyer, and demolished numerous enemy installations. They were awarded many high military honors, including Congressional Gold Medals, Distinguished Flying Crosses, Legions of Merit, Silver Stars, and Purple Hearts. According to the “Legends of Tuskegee Exhibition,” at Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, National Park Service, the Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II. Their achievements paved the way for full integration of the military — in 1948, President Truman enacted an Executive Order that directed equality of treatment and opportunity in all of the United States Armed Forces, which in time led to the end of racial segregation in the military.

After World War II ended in 1945, the country’s segregation and racial strife contributed to the Tuskegee Airmen keeping their stories quiet as they assimilated into American culture. Originally called the African-American 99th Pursuit Squadron, and later the 99th Fighter Squadron, the phrase “Tuskegee Airmen” was not coined until 1972 when a group of Tuskegee Airmen, including Bill Broadwater of Upper Marlboro, started Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. in Washington, DC, later known as the East Coast Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. Broadwater served as past president of both organizations.

Today, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. has 55 chapters and exists primarily to motivate and inspire young Americans to become participants in our nation’s society and its democratic process. Broadwater, who will be one of the other speakers at the upcoming Juneteenth event, completed the Aviation Pilot Program Class at Tuskegee Army Air Field in 1945 and served with the 477th Medium Bomber Group. After the war, he worked for 29 years for the Federal Aviation Administration as an Air Traffic Controller and senior official. He now operates a consulting firm specializing in air traffic control and aviation issues.

In addition to featuring the Tuskegee Airmen, the Juneteenth Celebration will host a small exhibition of the art of Tom Miller, a nationally-acclaimed African American artist from Baltimore known for joyous and whimsical paintings, prints, and furniture. Other activities will include a performance of African dance and music by the Sankofa Dance Theatre from Baltimore, songs by the Sombarkin’ trio and local church choirs, the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by Talbot County Public School students, and art projects for children and families.

Juneteenth, one of the most important African American holidays in the country, marks the abolition of slavery. It commemorates the date – June 19, 1865 – when the slaves in Galveston, Texas first received the word of the Emancipation Proclamation, which Abraham Lincoln had issued two and one-half years earlier on January 1, 1863. Over the past few decades, Juneteenth has reemerged as an important community holiday to commemorate Emancipation Day and celebrate African American achievements.

The program is free and open to the entire community. Support for the event has come from the Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County Arts Council with funds provided by Talbot County and the Town of Easton, The Pocket Media Group, Konsyl Pharmaceutical, Orion Safety Products, and Total Home Performance. This program was also made possible by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC), through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH); any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or the MHC.

For more information about the Juneteenth Celebration, visit the Frederick Douglass Honor Society at http://www.frederickdouglasshonorsociety.org/ or the Academy Art Museum at http://www.academyartmuseum.org/. For more information about the Double Victory Museum Tour, visit www.teamredtails.com.

In photo: Double Victory Poster (Courtesy of Lucasfilms, Ltd.)

In photo, above: Pictured is Byron Morris of Bowie, who served as President of the East Coast Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen between 2008 and 2010, and who will be a part of the Juneteenth showing of the documentary, “Double Victory” and panel discussion about the Tuskegee Airmen this coming Saturday at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD, at 2:30 p.m. The event is free and sponsored by the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the Academy Art Museum.

Juneteenth Celebration Set for June 16 at Academy Art Museum

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society and the Academy Art Museum recently announced plans for a Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 16, 2012, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland.

Juneteenth, one of the most important African American holidays in the country, marks the abolition of slavery. It commemorates the date – June 19, 1865 – when the slaves in Galveston, Texas first received the word of the Emancipation Proclamation, which Abraham Lincoln had issued two and one-half years earlier on January 1, 1863.

According to Eric Lowery, President of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, “Our goal is to celebrate the significant contributions of African Americans in our country, and reflect on the common values and ideals that we share as a community. Last year’s Juneteenth Celebration was particularly exciting with the dedication of the statue of Frederick Douglass at the Talbot County Courthouse — and we are preparing another great program for this year.”

The centerpiece of the Juneteenth Celebration will be a special screening of the new documentary “Double Victory” about the historic role of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II at 2:30 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre in Easton. These pioneering African Americans bravely fought a war on two fronts: fascism abroad and racial injustice at home. “Double Victory” was produced by George Lucas and serves as a companion to the feature film “Red Tails” now in theatres nationwide. A panel discussion will follow the screening, featuring original Tuskegee Airmen sharing their personal experience, moderated by Vic Carter, WJZ’S Eyewitness News Co-Anchor. The program is part of the Double Victory Museum Tour, which also includes an Education Guide and Faith Study Guide.

Erik Neil, Director of the Academy Art Museum, shares his excitement, “In addition to the inspiring story of the Tuskegee Airmen, we are planning a variety of other activities to showcase African American achievement in the arts. I am particularly excited to host a small exhibition of the art of Tom Miller, a nationally-acclaimed African American artist from Baltimore known for joyous and whimsical paintings, prints, and furniture.”

Other activities will include a performance of African dance and music by the Sankofa Dance Theatre from Baltimore, songs by the Sombarkin’ trio and local church choirs, the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by Talbot County Public School students, and art projects for children and families.

The program is free and open to the entire community. Support for the event has come from the Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County Arts Council with funds provided by Talbot County and the Town of Easton, The Pocket Media Group, Konsyl Pharmaceutical, Orion Safety Products, and Total Home Performance. This program was also made possible by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC), through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH); any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or the MHC. Sponsorships are available by contacting the Juneteench Celebration co-chairs, Rick Scobey (rscobey@worldbank.org) or Harriette Lowery (hlowery@chesapeake.edu).

For more information about the Juneteenth Celebration, visit the Frederick Douglass Honor Society at http://www.frederickdouglasshonorsociety.org/ or the Academy Art Museum at http://www.academyartmuseum.org/. For more information about the Double Victory Museum Tour, visit www.teamredtails.com.

In photo: Pictured are the Tuskegee Airmen in Ramitelli, Italy in March 1945 (Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsca-13259)

In photo above: Double Victory Poster (Courtesy of Lucasfilms, Ltd.)

In photo: Sankofa Dance Theatre from Baltimore, Maryland (Courtesy of Young Audiences of Maryland)

Frederick Douglass Honor Society’s Next Meeting

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society’s next meeting will be on Monday, April 18, 2011 at 6:00pm at the Easton Welcome and Resource Center on Harrison Street. Members and community are invited to attend and learn about Douglass Returns! , the memorial’s dedication event, which is staged over a four day celebration from 6/16/11 through 6/19/11. “Douglass Returns!” will begin with a wine and cheese reception at the Academy Art Museum on June 16, 2011 from 6pm to 8pm which will introduce the memorial’s sculptor Jay Hall Carpenter to the community with a presentation and exhibition of some of his work with musical selections by the New St. Johns United Methodist Church Men’s Choir of Wittman. On Friday, June 17th, at the Tidewater Inn, a recognition dinner will be held followed by the premiere of Carlton Spitzer’s original play “Born to be Free” which will focus on Frederick Douglass’ early years in Talbot County. Musical entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Baltimore Frederick Douglass High School Alumni Jazz Ensemble. The unveiling of the memorial will occur on Saturday, June 18th with a Frederick Douglass speech in character by famed re-enactor Fred Morsell, music by the Union Baptist choir, and other presentations to commemorate the lasting tribute to Talbot County’s most illustrious native son. On Sunday, June 19th, the dedication event will culminate with a spiritual celebration at Moton Park marking Juneteenth, an observance that marks the end of slavery, an important and appropriate gathering for the dedication event honoring Frederick Douglass. All events will be free and open to the public except for the recognition dinner which will have a ticket price of $75. Please come to the FDHS next meeting to learn ways that you can help make the memorial’s dedication an event that will be long remembered.

Frederick Douglass Honor Society Meeting

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society’s next meeting will be on Monday, February 21, 2011 at 6:00pm at the Easton Welcome and Resource Center on Harrison Street. Members and community are invited to attend and learn about the Dedication Event, staged over a three day celebration from 6/16/11 through 6/18/11, which will include an Academy of Art reception to honor the memorial’s sculptor Jay Hall Carpenter, a recognition dinner and Carlton Spitzer original play entitled “Born to Be Free”, culminating in the unveiling of the memorial and the speech FREDERICK DOUGLASS ON RACE: A SOUL’S EVOLUTION delivered by famed Douglass re-enactor Fred Morsell. In addition, the Society is planning an Education Summit in March to create an education strategy for 2011 and 2012 to further Mr. Douglass’ legacy of education, human rights and self-actualization. The public is encouraged to attend the February 21st meeting to learn more about the project and the Society’s plans for what the Town of Easton has proclaimed as” The Year of Frederick Douglass”.

Frederick Douglass Honor Society Part of Celebrations

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society was pleased to be part of special celebrations held at the Town of Easton and the Talbot County Council meetings on 2/7/11 and 2/8/11 respectively. At the Town’s Council meeting, Councilwoman Megan Cook presented the Town’s proclamation to Society president Eric Lowery, heralding 2011 as the Year of Frederick Douglass. Because February is Black History month, originated to honor both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln whose birthdays occur in February, local girl scouts, members of BAAM (Building African American Minds) and Society members celebrated Frederick Douglass’ birthday at the 2/7/11 council meeting with song and cake. On 2/8/11, in honor of Black History month, the Talbot County Council also issued a proclamation to honor Frederick Douglass which was presented to Eric Lowery by Councilman Corey Pack. During the County Council meeting, Mr. Lowery also provided a formal update of the memorial project which was positively received by the council .The Council was unanimous in its support of the Society’s progress, congratulating Mr. Lowery’s leadership that will culminate in the memorial’s dedication on 6/18/11.

Frederick Douglass Honor Society Announcement

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society is pleased to announce that Black History Month originally linked to Frederick Douglass’s birth will continue its tribute to Douglass when both the Town of Easton and the Talbot County Councils will issue proclamations heralding 2011 as the Year of Frederick Douglass in their 2/7 and 2/8 council meetings respectively. The Town and County Council meetings will celebrate Frederick Douglass’ birth with cake, song by local school children and special proclamations to honor Mr. Douglass. The Year of Frederick Douglass will feature many community organizations’ activities that will pay homage to Talbot County’s most famous son throughout the year including the Frederick Douglass Honor Society’s dedication of the Douglass memorial on 6/18/11 which represents years of planning, community partnerships and fundraising. The public is cordially invited to celebrate Frederick Douglass’ birthday at the Councils’ meetings when the Year of Frederick Douglass is proclaimed.

Frederick Douglass Honor Society Meeting

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society’s next meeting will be on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 6:00pm at the Easton Welcome and Resource Center on Harrison Street. Members and community are invited to attend and learn about the progress for the memorial project, including the planning for the memorial’s dedication on June 18, 2011. The Society continues to work closely with other community organizations in ways to honor Frederick Douglass, coordinating a true celebration of all things related to our most famous native son. In addition, a summary report of 2010’s highly successful fund raising projects will be discussed which reflect our community’s commitment to the shared goal of promoting Frederick Douglass’ lasting legacy to Talbot County, Maryland and to the nation. The public is encouraged to attend the Frederick Douglass Honor Society’s first meeting for 2011 for updated information and for opportunity to share in the collective vision to honor Frederick Douglass.