WEST CHESTER, PA - The Chester County History Center - CCHC- will hold multiple days of events and programs in commemoration of Juneteenth.
On Wednesday, June 14th, at 7:00 PM, the History Center will hold a virtual program led by the Chester County Archives. FROM WHENCE WE CAME: FINDING BLACK ANCESTORS IN HISTORICAL RECORDS is the program focused on African American Genealogy. The program will guide participants on how to trace their ancestry and overcome the unique hurdles that Black history presents. The program will be facilitated by Kimberly F.B. Bucklaw, a historian, educator, and professional genealogist.
From Thursday, June 15th to Sunday, June 18th the History Center will have JUNETEENTH TOURS centered on African American History. The Underground Railroad tour explores historic sites that serve as a backdrop for the stories of the brave people who helped enslaved men, women, and children as they passed through West Chester on their journeys toward freedom. The Uptown West Chester tour explores the very center of town as we share stories of early 20th-century African American entrepreneurs like James Spence and follow in the footsteps of Bayard Rustin as he grew into an activist in his hometown.
On Saturday, June 17th, at 6:00 PM, the History Center will host A CELEBRATION OF BAYARD RUSTIN & AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY. An evening event to celebrate Bayard Rustin, his remarkable past, how his work continues to transform the present, and the future he inspires and illuminates as an African American History Maker. The event will feature Illuminating Rustin, a powerful performance by People’s Light Theater, the virtual commentaries of awarded actor Colman Domingo, who portrays Bayard in the upcoming Netflix film Rustin, and a conversation about Bayard Rustin led by author Michael Long.
Additional information and registration for the events are available at www.mycchc.org/juneteenth
Conor Hepp, President of the History Center shares: “Juneteenth may be a holiday for us to celebrate and commemorate, but it is also a time of action. It is a time for us to reflect on our American past and inspire action for our future. This year, we have designed programming for just that purpose. We want people to search for their past, walk in the footsteps of those that came before, and engage with the possibilities of the future. Juneteenth is not a passive holiday and CCHC is not a passive history organization.”
The History Center’s mission is to Link the Past to the Present to Inspire the Future. As part of this mission, it is our express intention to share the history of all members of our community and their important contributions to our County and Nation. CCHC is committed to being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization that offers programs and participation opportunities for all community members and to serving, supporting, and being accessible to the rich and diverse community of Chester County, Greater Philadelphia, and beyond. Our commitment includes but is not limited to, community members of all ages, abilities, economic circumstances, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
The History Center is a partner with Voices Underground and a Planning Partner of the West Chester Juneteenth Celebrations. The Juneteenth events are held thanks to the support of our TD Charitable Trust, Voices Underground, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, and our Corporate Partners Aqua America and PECO.