Black History Month Series

The Mariners’ Museum is honoring Black History Month with a calendar full of activities.
All activities are FREE with Museum admission.

The African and African-American Presence in the Maritime World

Presented by Museum staff

Saturday, February 4 & 25, 2017 · 11 AM and 1 PM

Join Museum staff on a unique guided tour of The Mariners’ Museum as we discover the influences of Africans and African-Americans across the centuries and throughout the maritime world.

Oystering photo

Children of Blue Waters

Presented by Master Storyteller Mendel Denise Williams

Saturday, February 11, 2017 · 10 AM and 2 PM

Children of Blue Waters is a multimedia performance-art piece featuring Master Storyteller Mendel Denise Williams. It focuses on Caribbean people in the United States and their roles in the African-American Diaspora. Mendel tells the lesser-known story of the Windrush, a ship that brought the first wave of Caribbean immigrants to England. She skillfully uses family and personal stories to give a deeper overview of the life of ordinary people. Mendel links stories with folktales, history, and the voyages common to all—crossing many oceans.

Mendel is a master storyteller. Her stories are about the rich cultural landscape of people who came for a better life and the legacy yet to be seen, yet to be heard, and still to be valued. Her storytelling is about their dreams, contributions, successes, and struggles. Mendel sheds light on the lives of the human beings behind the labels and beyond limiting definitions of blackness, black history, and culture in the United States.

Mendel Denise Williams

I Come From Old Virginny

Presented by Historian Carson Hudson

Saturday, February 18, 2017 · 10 AM and 2 PM

I Come From Old Virginny demonstrates the changing sound and perception of the banjo over its history. It was in Virginia that the banjo, arriving from Africa in the hands of the enslaved, began to find its own voice. Americans, both black and white, began to combine English and Irish tunes and ballads with African rhythms to create something new… something American. Discover how the banjo developed in Virginia and how it influenced—and was influenced by—the musicians who played it. Carson Hudson is a practicing military, social, and music historian and an Emmy Award-winning screenwriter. He has written four books and lectures regularly at colleges and museums.

Anansi and Other African Folktales

Presented by Museum staff

Saturday, February 25, 2017 · 10 AM and 2 PM

Throughout the ages, Africans have used storytelling to teach life lessons, entertain, and explain the workings of the world. In this entertaining and educational program, the audience will listen to some of these stories and learn how African storytellers incorporated music to tell their tales. The audience will then become part of the storytelling by using their own handmade musical instruments as they discover how stories crossed the Atlantic to the Americas.

Griot, African storyteller