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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

“Black History Now 2019 – Celebrating Today’s Change Makers” Presented by the Portsmouth Museums and the Portsmouth Public Library

Come, See, Play, Explore! NASCAR, Wakanda, and More

January 18, 2019 – February 28, 2019

Actress Dorothy Steel in Black Panther

Actress Dorothy Steel during a scene in Black Panther

Portsmouth, VA — The Portsmouth Museums and the Portsmouth Public Library will kick off 2019 in grand fashion with its fourth annual African-American Heritage Series, Black History Now – Celebrating Today’s Change Makers. This year’s series gets the green flag on Saturday, January 19th with S.T.E.M.-ulating Minds: Women at Work, when Norfolk State University graduate Brehanna Daniels, the first African-American woman on a NASCAR pit team, gives visitors at the Children’s Museum of Virginia an up close and personal look at what it takes to work for a professional racing team. Visitors will be challenged with a tire changing simulation game, and have opportunities to take pictures behind the wheel of an actual race car.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe will make an appearance at the Children’s Museum of Virginia on Saturday, January 26th when 92-year old actress Dorothy Steel from the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther hosts Q & A, photograph, and autograph sessions for children. ACT Dance Theatre’s professional cosplayers, dancers, and live West African orchestra join Mrs. Steel to create A Weekend in Wakanda.

Take flight with the Tuskegee Airmen at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center on Saturday, February 2nd during a pictorial presentation of Petersburg, VA native and WWII Lt. Col. Howard Lee Baugh who fought for freedom in Europe while facing segregation on the homefront.

For updates about these events, visit the Portsmouth Museums’ websites, www.childrensmuseumva.com; and www.portsvaAfricanAmericanHeritage.com, and Portsmouth Public Libraries at www.portsmouthpubliclibrary.org.

A complete schedule of events, exhibits, and activities is included below:

SATURDAY – JANUARY 19

What: S.T.E.M.-ulating Minds: Women at Work
Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia (Presentation is included with admission)
When: 11am

Norfolk State University graduate Brehanna Daniels, the first African-American woman on a NASCAR pit team, and Coach Phil Horton of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, give the Children’s Museum of Virginia’s visitors an up close and personal look at what it takes to work for a professional racing team. Visitors will be challenged with a tire changing simulation game, and have opportunities to take pictures behind the wheel of an actual race car.
Target audience: Families, all ages

SATURDAY – JANUARY 26

What: A Weekend in Wakanda
Where: Children’s Museum of Virginia (Presentation is included with admission)
When: 10 am

Meet 92-year old actress Dorothy Steel from the Marvel superhero movie Black Panther as she hosts Kids’ Q & A sessions, signs autographs, and poses for pictures with fans. Play instruments and dance along with ACT Dance Theatre’s very own Dora Milaje women warriors and live West African percussion orchestra. Make and take crafts and 3D print models based on the Black Panther movie. Dress as your favorite Black Panther character, the Falcon, or any other comic book or action movie hero to receive a $1.00 discount on the day’s admission. Included in museum admission.
Target Audience: Kindergarten and up

What: Fancy Footwork: A West African Bantaba
Where: Churchland Branch Library
When: 3 pm (Free and open to the public)

Kuumba African Dance brings the thunder of its percussion orchestra and the graceful, high energy celebration dances of Guinea West Africa to Portsmouth. Guests will sing along, drum along, and dance along with Kuumba’s ensemble as they recreate a traditional village Bantaba (dance circle).
Target Audience: Kindergarten and up

SATURDAY – FEBRUARY 2

What: Trials & Triumph: The Tuskegee Airmen
Where: Where: Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (Free and open to the public)
When: 1pm

Vietnam veteran pilot Howard Baugh takes you on a journey through World War II with a lecture and slide show presentation of his father Lt. Colonel Howard Lee Baugh — one of the 393 Tuskegee Airmen combat pilots who received national and international recognition for their combat roles during World War II. The slide show also includes photos of a life size bronze statue of Lt. Colonel Baugh that was recently unveiled at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia in Richmond.
Target Audience: Middle school and up

SATURDAY – FEBRUARY 9

What: Uncle George & Me Author Talk and Book Signing
Where: Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum
When: 1pm

In Uncle George & Me, author Bill Sizemore tells the story of his slave-owning Virginia ancestors, their slaves, and those slaves’ descendants – a story that lay buried by a century of denial and historical amnesia. Meet Mr. Sizemore, who will read passages from his book, sign copies (also available for sale), and chat with visitors about his family’s fascinating history. Presented by the African American Historical Society, Inc. of Portsmouth.
Target Audience: 12 years of age and older

WEDNESDAY – FEBRUARY 13

What: Black History Expo
Where: Churchland Branch Library (Free and open to the public)
When: 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Join together with your community in honoring African American history. Hear from a historical guest speaker, listen to local musical talent, and see a breathtaking display of local artisans’ handbook at this celebratory event recognizing African American history in Portsmouth.
Target Audience: All ages

SATURDAY – FEBRUARY 16

What: Neighborhood Black History Tour & Costume Parade
Where: High and Green Streets
When: 10:30 am

Wear your favorite costume representing an African-American hero, past, present, local, city, state, national or international. Walk or ride a shuttle bus to see significant African American sites in Portsmouth, concluding at the Portsmouth Neighborhood Facility Recreation Center at 900 Elm Ave. Meet Mae Breckenridge-Haywood, author and President of the African American Historical Society, Inc. of Portsmouth, who will have signed copies of the books Black America: Portsmouth, Virginia, and For You, Dear Norcom next door at the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum at 904 Elm Ave. To register contact Joyce White Tasby at 202-812-2804. Registration fees are $10.00 for an individual and $50.00 for 10 or more. The line-up begins at 10:30 am at High and Green Streets.
Target audience: Families, all ages

SATURDAY – FEBRUARY 23

What: Caribbean Dreaming by Artist Gary Garlic
Where: Main Branch Library (Free and open to the public)
When: 1pm

Explore the world of Caribbean Steel Drums through a historical and musical demonstration. Learn how drums were outlawed on many Caribbean islands and how they came to be made from steel. In addition, a unique sound and art form was created by these politics. Learn how the people of the Caribbean became independent and at the same time developed an art of their own. This event is free and open to the public.
Target Audience: Families

 

EXHIBITS ON VIEW

JANUARY 18, 2019 through OCTOBER 31, 2020

What: A Steady Cycle of Lively Events: The African American Social Scene in Postwar Portsmouth
Where: In the changing exhibit gallery of the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum
When: Open Fridays & Saturdays, noon – 5:00p.m., or groups of 6 or more people may make an appointment by calling the History Division at 757-393-8591.

Learn about some of the African American community’s social and recreational activities in post-World War II Portsmouth. See vintage images of parades, talent shows, club meetings and more, from this era when segregation led to Portsmouth’s black residents establishing their own social scene with A Steady Cycle of Lively Events.

JANUARY 18, 2019 – FEBRUARY 28, 2019

What: Portraits of Service: Portsmouth African Americans in the Military, 1946 – 1967
Where: Temporary display in the lobby of Portsmouth City Hall
When: Black History Month duration

After World War II, the Colored Notes column of the Portsmouth Star newspaper described happenings in the African American community. The column included frequent photographs of local residents in military service. View this collection of military portraits and original captions in this temporary exhibit for Black History Month 2019. Photographs from the collection of the Portsmouth Public Library.

JANUARY 18, 2019 – FEBRUARY 28, 2019

What: Vintage Norcom: Historical Images from I.C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth, Virginia
Where: Temporary display in the lobby of the Main Branch Library
When: Black History Month duration

Celebrate Black History Month 2019 by viewing a collection of vintage images of students, teachers, and activities at Portsmouth’s I.C. Norcom High School. Photographs from the African American Historical Society of Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Public Library.

 

About Portsmouth Museums
The City of Portsmouth maintains five museums which provide the citizens of Portsmouth, Hampton Roads, the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond with high quality educational and cultural experiences in the arts, humanities and the sciences through the use of exhibitions, programs and collections. Three museums will host many of the Black History Now events: the Children’s Museum of Virginia | 757-393-5258 | www.childrensmuseumvirginia.com, the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center | 757-393-8543 | www.portsmouthartcenter.com/event-directory/ and the Portsmouth Colored Community Library Museum | 757-393-8591 | www.portsvaafricanamericanheritage.com

 

About the Portsmouth Public Library
The Portsmouth Public Library has been a cornerstone of the Portsmouth community for over 100 years providing free access to information, print and online resources, and fun programs. Portsmouth Public Library serves the community through 4 locations; Main Library, Cradock Branch, Churchland Branch, and Manor Branch. For more information call 757-393-8501 or visit www.portsmouthpubliclibrary.org.

 

About the City of Portsmouth, Virginia
The City of Portsmouth, Virginia is the geographical center of Hampton Roads located in the southeastern corner of Virginia. Over 250 years old, the city is a true historical gem with stories and architecture dating back to the American Revolution and earlier. For more information, call 757-393-8000 or visit www.PortsmouthVa.gov

 

PRESS CONTACT:
Lynette James
Portsmouth Museums
jamesl@portsmouthva.gov
(757) 393-8983

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