Legacy Day begins today!

August 17, 2018

See post below for the description of Legacy Day. Activities throughout the day tomorrow, ending with the 5 PM parade and dancing in the streets downtown to the music of Motown!

A fine tribute to the memory of Aretha Franklin and to African American history in our country.

Coming up: Legacy Day – Aug 17-18

August 11, 2018

The anniversary of the Charlottesville tragedy will be the day after tomorrow. It’s been a year, and maybe you’re still wondering, “What can I do?” Each of us must find our own answers, but two things that we can do are to listen, and then to learn, two ways of offering support and respect to those who’ve been on the short end of that stick for hundreds of years. Another thing that we can do is to remember, asking ourselves, “How should this change me?” And finally, we can share with others the things that are important – their culture, heritage, history. Sumner Hall, in Chestertown, offers a place where these things can happen, and next weekend, during Legacy Day, is a time when things that are important can be experienced.

Maybe you’d like to spend a night or two, or maybe you’d like to do a day trip. Either way, try to fit this in. If you live far away, making this trip impossible, look around in your own area for a similar place where African American history has been preserved and valued. Then visit.

From the Legacy Day page on the Sumner Hall website:

Sumner Hall is proud to be the primary producer of the Fifth Annual Legacy Day festivities in Chestertown, Maryland, on August 18, 2018. Legacy Day started five years ago as an effort to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of African Americans in Kent County. We also wanted to encourage all residents of Kent County to recognize their shared history, and to have a good time doing it. The inaugural Legacy Day in 2014 was a huge success. Nearly 1500 people were dancing in Chestertown’s High Street to celebrate Charlie Graves and the Uptown Club, a place where many legendary soul artists performed. In 2015 we celebrated local rhythm and blues artists and local beer gardens. Our 2016 theme honored African-American businesses of the recent and more distant past. Last year Legacy Day saluted African American educators who taught or served as a principal in one of Kent County’s segregated schools. For 2018, we will carry that theme forward by featuring stories of how black and white students and teachers dealt with the early years of integration in Kent County schools. In addition to great music, food and drink, Legacy Day 2018 will include a parade and a seminar on genealogy.

*Live Music by Soulfied Village & DJ Lonnie Butcher* *Local Food & Drink Vendors* *Bring a lawn chair for when you need a break from dancing.*

2018 Schedule
Friday, August 17th 7:00 pm – Honoree Reception @ Sumner Hall
Saturday, August 18th 10:00am – Genealogy Workshop @ Chestertown Public Library
2:00pm – Gospel Concert @ Jane’s United Methodist Church
5:00pm – Parade down High Street 6:00pm – Block Party on High Street

17 African American Civil War Soldiers

August 3, 2018

I’ve decided I love small museums the very best.

As I’ve been traveling through my 60s, I’ve discovered something that seems to come with the territory – that having too many choices is not a good thing. Walking into a large department store with seemingly a million and one wardrobe items from which to choose can reduce me to wandering, wilting, and wondering, “Why?” quicker than anything else. Visiting a large museum, although exciting and amazing, can do the same thing: it’s like a cacaphony of stuff and I just don’t know where to begin or how to sort it all out. (I do enjoy these visits, however; I just have to tackle them differently, dividing them up into smaller units and being satisfied with seeing only a portion of the whole.) Going to a small one, though, is more manageable. As Maria sang, “You just start at the very beginning, a very good place to start,” and you can get the whole thing done decently, in order, and satisfactorily, brushing off one’s hands at the end, knowing that there has been a lovely thing accomplished. The experience can then be celebrated, enjoyed, and even savored; never forgotten, then shared with others.

Visiting the Harriet Tubman Museum, about an hour away from Chestertown, is one of these memorable visits, as is a visit to the Selma (AL) Interpretive Museum and the new Legacy Museum (a.k.a. the “Lynching Museum” in Montgomery, AL), which I just did a couple of weeks ago, but which are not just around the corner from here. However, another of these small museum treasures is right here in Chestertown, Sumner Hall, which is another African American history museum, a restored local G.A.R. Post built in 1908. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, it is also a treasure, and one of only 2 buildings like it in the entire world.

Sumner Hall, recently the site of a live broadcast of WYPR, the Baltimore NPR station, (just this past week!), is also currently the place where one can enjoy the beautiful exhibit of “17 Black Soldiers of the Civil War.” Opening tomorrow, it is a collection of colored pencil portraits taken from a pocket-sized album of locket-sized photographs (each the size of postage stamps!) dating back to the Civil War. The story behind the display and the stories behind each of the portraits are intriguing, exciting and enticing, drawing one in to imagine, to learn, to remember, and then, to be changed.

The Sumner Hall exhibit, made possible by the artist, Shayne Davidson, will only be here in Chestertown for this month of August 2018. So try to make plans today!

Location, Location, Location.

You might notice the WAC Administration Building cupola out of the corner of your eye as you walk onto Simply Bed & Bread's brick path, since our house is just a stone's throw away from the college. Or it might be the ...
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