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Exhibit: Three Centuries Of Black Activism In RI

Published
In an exhibit opening this week, historical groups in Rhode Island present a history of African-American activism in the state stretching from 1652 to 1978.

It’s the latest phase in a multi-year collaboration between the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission.

Rhode Island Historical Society Education Director Geralyn Ducady said the exhibit, Rhode Island African Heritage Civil Rights History, focuses on the fights for fair access to work, housing, and education.

“Some of the themes are things we may have learned about on a national scale at school,” Ducady said. “But we didn’t learn about the local people or the local organizations involved in some of these national themes.”

Historical photos and documents are printed on portable panels that Ducady hopes will travel around the state. The work builds on oral histories collected by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. And a set of lesson plans is designed to help teachers bring the material into their classrooms. 

Rhode Island Historical Society education director Geralyn Ducady said she thinks audio clips will help students engage with the history.

“I think they’ll be more dynamic and I’m hoping even more interesting for younger student. And also I’m hoping it may make some things more accessible because you’re not just reading, you’re also listening,” Ducady said.

The exhibit opens during Black History Month, with a workshop for teachers at 4pm and a panel discussion at 6pm on Wednesday, February 13th at the Rhode Island Historical Society's Aldrich House in Providence.


The exhibit will be displayed on the first floor of the Rhode Island Historical Society's Aldrich House in Providence.
The exhibit will be displayed on the first floor of the Rhode Island Historical Society's Aldrich House in Providence.