Rich with history and tales of new and old, Easton is the perfect place to experience African American History Month and is the location of several educational and significant events in February.
Frederick Douglass Parade
February 17 • 10 a.m. Washington Street
Celebrate the birthday of Frederick Douglass with a homecoming parade in Easton. Sponsored by the Bailey-Groce Foundation. Visit fdhill.org for more information.
February 17 • 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Talbot County Free Library, Easton
Following the Frederick Douglass Parade, enjoy the Children’s Icehouse with free hot cocoa, crafts, storytime (11:30 a.m.) and games. There will be an ice carving demonstration at noon. Call 410-822-1626.
Celebrating Frederick Douglass: 206 Birthday Celebration
February 17 • 3 p.m., Avalon Theatre
February is not only Black History Month, it is also the birthday of famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass. To honor Douglass’ life and legacy, the Bailey-Groce Family Foundation will host a 206th birthday celebration featuring live performances, music, and art.
Actor Phil Darius Wallace performs his original one-man play, Frederick Douglass: Lion of Thunder. He will be joined by Millicent Sparks who will present The Harriet Tubman Living History Experience. Theo Wilson, host of The History Channel’s “I Was There,” will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening, and Push Play D.C., featuring Donnell Floyd, will provide music.
After the performances, Frederick Douglass family members will host a VIP dinner at the Waterfowl Building, also in Easton. Saxophone player Azu, a.k.a. The Prince of Ghana, will provide music, and the work of Maryland sculptor Richard Blake will be on display. Attendees are encouraged to wear African-style clothing to honor Douglass’s heritage.
All proceeds from the evening support Operation Frederick Douglass on The Hill and the work of The Bailey-Grocè Family Foundation, Inc., with the ultimate goal of building an African American Cultural Center. Tickets cost $125 ($75 performance only) and may be purchased at www.avalonfoundation.org/events. For more information, visit fdhill.org. Donations may be made to The Bailey-Grocè Family Foundation, Inc. at Shore United Bank or can be mailed to P.O. Box 266, Newcomb, Maryland 21653.
“A Fire That No Water Can Put Out”
Through March 10, Academy Art Museum
The Academy Art Museum is showcasing “A Fire that No Water Can Put Out: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement from the Collection of The High Museum.” Taking its title from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech before his assassination in 1968, “A Fire That No Water Could Put Out: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement.” Historical works of iconic moments from the movement by Gordon Parks, Danny Lyon, Doris Derby, Ernest Withers, and others are juxtaposed with contemporary photographs by Dawoud Bey, Sheila Pree Bright, Matthew Brandt, and others that speak to the past’s reverberations into the present and future. These artworks demonstrate the wide range of artistic responses to the movement, from photojournalism to conceptualism, from tender portraits to charged landscapes. Admission is free. For more details, visit www.academyartmuseum.org.
“King: A Filmed Record”
February 17 • 1:30 p.m., Academy Art Museum
Inspired by the exhibition “A Fire That No Water Could Put Out: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement from the Collection of The High Museum,” AAM presents a screening of cinematic treasure “King: A Filmed Record.” The film was nominated for an Academy Award Best Documentary Feature in 1970. Constructed from a wealth of rare archival footage, this monumental documentary follows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1955 to 1968 in his rise from regional activist to world-renowned leader of the Civil Rights movement. The event is free, but registration is suggested. Visit www.academyartmuseum.org.
“Conversation and Homecoming”
February 24 • 2 p.m., Avalon Theatre
Spend the afternoon with Carole Boston Weatherford and Jeffrey Weatherford, author and illustrator of the newly released Kin, a book that tells the story of their ancestors in Talbot County through poems and stunning illustrations. For Carole’s third collaboration with her illustrator son, Jeffery Boston Weatherford, the just released Kin follows their enslaved ancestors from slavery in colonial Maryland to Civil War battlefields to the founding of all-Black, Reconstruction-era villages in Talbot County. On their quest to trace family lineage and reclaim ancestral narratives, mother and son discovered local lore that they descend from African royalty. They have conjured the voices of their kin, creating an often painful but ultimately empowering story of who their people were in a breathtaking book that is at once deeply personal yet all too universal. The mother-son duo hope that Kin will inspire others to research their genealogy and to collect their families’ stories. The event is free. For more information, email email@example.com.
Hill Community Walking Tour
Explore Easton’s Hill Community on a self-guided walking tour. The Hill has been home to free African Americans since the 1780s and is considered one of the oldest communities of this nature, perhaps surpassing New Orleans’ famed Treme in age and significance. The tour is at your own pace, generally about an hour of walking time. Tour maps may be found at the Easton Visitor’s Center, located at 11 South Harrison Street in Easton or at https://discovereaston.com/blackhistorymonth.
For more information on these events, visit https://discovereaston.com/blackhistorymonth. The Easton Economic Development Corporation was launched in 2013 to drive economic vitality, smart redevelopment, and business creation in the historic Town of Easton, Maryland to foster a healthy quality of life for all generations. The EEDC works to catalyze Greater Easton’s continued prosperity as a diverse and healthy “smart town,” leading innovation where the land and water meet.