Trenton Free Public Library will transform into a “living museum” sharing the perspectives of African Americans on the Revolutionary War and its meaning for enslaved people during a new Patriots Week event from 3-5 p.m. on Monday December 27th.
“A Revolutionary Conversation: Whose history and whose freedom, anyway?”
This event will feature Trenton students portraying real-life African-Americans who lived during the Revolutionary War and were excluded from the ideals espoused by founding fathers that “all men are created equal” and “endowed with certain inalienable rights.”
“We are thrilled to be part of the Patriots Week tradition… We invite the public to join us to hear stories of African Americans living during the Revolutionary War as continental soldiers, loyalists, slaves and citizens and discuss how our community can interpret our shared history in ways that respect our shared ideals of equality,” said Library Director, Rebecca FrancoMartin.
The event is funded by a community history grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities to the Old Mill Hill Society. Volunteers include community activists such as Marc McKithen, Algernon Ward, Crystal Feliciano, and Kenneth Miles, educators such as Rebecca FrancoMartin, Laurie Budwiecz, Nina McPherson, and Danielle Miller-Winrow, as well as neighborhood volunteers.
The committee’s goal is sharing stories not typically included in traditional Anglo history through dramatization in a way that is accessible to children but also explores issues of equality and freedom in ways that engage teens and adults. Each character will reflect an aspect of the idea of “freedom” with stories selected by participants from “Answering the Cry for Freedom” by Gretchen Woelfle.
The event will include: characters sharing their stories while engaging visitors in discussions about choices they faced and actions they took; free copies of “Answering the Cry for Freedom” while supplies last at the event; arts and crafts activities and games for young children; an idea board for the community to share thoughts, reactions and next steps.
“We are so excited to be part of this project,” said Danielle Miller-Winrow, headmaster of Sprout U School of the Arts. Trenton Downtown Association hosts Patriots Week between Christmas and New Year’s attracting thousands of visitors to the city to commemorate and recognize Trenton’s unique and pivotal role in the American Revolution.