Dutchess County Celebrates Black History Month

Dutchess County Celebrates Black History Month

February is Black History Month, when we, as a nation and county, celebrate the rich history, vibrant culture, and impactful contributions to every aspect of our society.

,Dutchess County Government is sponsoring a free virtual presentation by the Dutchess County Historical Society on Thursday, February 22nd at 7 p.m. to celebrate Black History Month and explore the connections between local Free Black communities and the wider global community.

Entitled “Greater Risks, Global Dynamics: New Insights into Local Free Black Communities Before the Civil War,” this program, led by Dutchess County Historical Society Executive Director Bill Jeffway, will introduce attendees to communities as far away as Australia, Brazil, and Haiti, along with historical Free Black settlements that existed around Dutchess County, perhaps just around the block from an attendee’s home. Attendees will learn about the great risk to life and livelihood that Free Blacks faced, regardless of their location. As abolition either approached or passed in northern states, the selling of northern free and enslaved Blacks into a life of enslavement in the American South.

Attendees will hear the stories of specific local, named men, women, and children engaged in the battle against enslavement until it was extinguished – not just locally, but nationally and internationally. To register for the February 22nd virtual program, please visit the Dutchess County Historical Society’s event webpage at https://dchsny.org/feb22.

_There are additional opportunities to learn about and honor those who made significant contributions to the Black experience, and support those who have built on that legacy of achievement and continue to flourish in our community today:

  • Dutchess Tourism’s Celebrating African American History in Dutchess feature spotlights those who heroically championed the causes of justice, equality and progress for African Americans here in Dutchess County – from the Abolitionist Movement through the Civil Rights Movement and beyond.

  • Dutchess Tourism also highlights local Black entrepreneurs who continue to prosper throughout Dutchess County. From restaurants to cafés, and a comic book shop and a concierge service, Black-owned businesses serve countless sectors of our county.

The 2024 observance of Black History Month highlights “African Americans and the Arts” as the theme.

  • Arts Mid-Hudson has unveiled “Still I Rise: Celebrating Black History Month,” a five-week exhibit highlighting the work of artists exploring Black Humanity and Black pride expressed in a variety of styles and methods. Residents are invited to view the exhibit at Arts Mid-Hudson’s Gallery, located at 696 Dutchess Turnpike in Poughkeepsie, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or by appointment), now through March 3rd.

Other resources available to celebrate Black History Month include:

Author: Harlem Valley News