This February, Maris Grove celebrates Black History Month by inviting residents and employees of the community to a special exhibit on campus. The exhibition titled "Our History Intertwined" showcases how African American History is American History. The mini-museum is located in the Cardinal Clubhouse Catering Room at the Erickson Living-managed community in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.
"During February, we celebrate the achievements of African Americans," said resident Melva Shipley, who curated the exhibit in partnership with the Diversity and Inclusion Council. "This exhibit showcases an equally important and compelling story in American History --the African American's role in the building of America."
The mini-museum highlights the "intertwined" African/American History of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (principal author of the Declaration of Independence), Charles Carroll of Carrollton (signer of the Declaration of Independence), and King George and Queen Charlotte (the Black Queen of Great Britain).
"History has a way of remembering those who have a large physical presence but not those working behind the scenes," said Shipley. "George Washington, like all generals, could not have won without thousands of men, women, and families willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the cause."
The display includes life-size figures of the main characters in period clothing and numerous pictures and information about the patriotic African Americans and the known American heroes of the time. The presentation incorporates oral histories and videos from today's pop culture that reflects the feel of the Revolutionary war period, such as audiovisual and multimedia pieces from Hamilton and Bridgerton. Visitors can scan parts of the exhibit to view virtually on digital devices.
Shipley hopes the Maris Grove community takes away a wider and broader understanding of African American history and the fact that African American history needs to be included in American History because it is part of our History.
The Black History Month events are sponsored by the Maris Grove's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Other events this month include reserved guided presentations, zoom discussions, and self-guided walking tours of the museum throughout the campus.
"Thank you to Melva for all her hard work putting together this outstanding exhibit," said Executive Director Maureen Heckler. "With our safety measures in place, it is wonderful to see our community come together to enjoy our Black History Month events as well as our many other cultural, educational, and recreational activities on campus."
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