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Legacy Day 2020 Goes Virtual
Sumner Hall in Chestertown had chosen August 15 as the date for Legacy Day 2020. It would have honored Kent County’s Outstanding African American Athletes of the 20th century with a special exhibition, parade, genealogy workshop, gospel concert, food and craft vendors and dancing in the street. However, essential social distancing requirements due the coronavirus pandemic have caused the Legacy Day Committee to make the painful decision to postpone these festivities until August 2021 and make Legacy Day 2020 a virtual experience.
The committee is adapting to this new reality by preparing several programs that will be available on Sumner Hall’s website, Facebook page and on YouTube in August. The public is invited to enjoy Virtual Legacy Day 2020 with the following festivities:
- a genealogy presentation via Zoom by staff members of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, focused on conducting genealogical research on African American ancestors
- a video previewing next year’s salute to our outstanding African American Athletes
- a community conversation hosted on Zoom by the Kohl Gallery of Washington College on Legacies of Education and the Black Experience in Kent County and at Washington College
- a live streaming dance featuring DJ Real so everyone can enjoy soulful music while observing physical distance in this COVID-19 Era
Legacy Day started seven years ago as a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of African Americans in Kent County. It has become an established community-wide party in mid-August where a thousand or more people gather in downtown Chestertown to recognize their shared history and have a good time doing it. The primary attraction has always been great live music and dancing on High Street. Attendees also enjoy food, drink, craft vendors, a parade, and a special exhibition at the Bordley History Center. Over the years, Legacy Day has expanded to include a genealogy workshop, a gospel concert, a reception for honorees, an exhibit of African American artists, and a variety of children’s activities.
In years past, Legacy Day has honored the Uptown Club and its owner Charlie Graves, local African American musicians, African American entrepreneurs, African American educators who taught in segregated schools, and the students who integrated the county’s school system. Last year, 24 African American churches founded in Kent County at least 125 years ago were honored.
Check the website for schedule updates and additions at www.sumnerhall.org or call 443-282-0023.