Black History

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom

June 19, 2022, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

The Durand Hedden House & Garden Association and the South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race will once again co-host Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom at Durand-Hedden House & Garden and the surrounding Grasmere Park on Sunday, June 19, from 1pm to 5pm.

Activities will take place primarily outdoors and will include several well-known African-American historical reenactors, including Daniel Carlton, Teretha Jones, and Daisy Century. Face painting, games, storytelling, and crafts will be offered for children. Attendees will enjoy outdoor musical performances. A local chef, artisans, and booksellers will offer items for purchase.

Visitors can view the exhibit, Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History, which provides historical context for Juneteenth and the history of enslaved people in New Jersey. The book based on the exhibit, written by Durand-Hedden President Gail R. Safian and designed by John Branigan, earned the Kevin M. Hale Publications Award from the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey. The book was also chosen by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation as the basis for its curriculum section on slavery in New Jersey, part of a larger curriculum it developed for middle and high school students on African American history.

Admission to the program as well as to the house and exhibit is free; donations welcome. Registration is required.

Sojourner Truth: Suffragist and Abolitionist

March 13, 2022, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Join Durand-Hedden on Sunday, March 13, at 2pm for an engaging and informative opportunity to hear the stories of Sojourner Truth, Suffragist and Abolitionist, as interpreted by Dr. Daisy Century. The event will take place at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Rd in Maplewood. Doors open at 1pm.

Open Hearth Cooking: African American Foodways

February 13, 2022, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Join the Durand-Hedden House and Chef Jesse Jones for an afternoon dedicated to African American foodways at our historic open hearth.


Images


Juneteenth at Durand-Hedden draws crowds; honors history

More than 150 visitors participated in the Juneteenth 2021 celebration hosted by the Durand-Hedden House, in partnership with the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. Part of a MAPSO-wide program, the event allowed people to gain insight into the years leading up to the Civil War through the work of historical reenactors portraying Harriet Tubman; a formerly enslaved man; and Mary Todd Lincoln’s seamstress and confidante. Three poets from the Maplewood Black Poets Project performed, and there was an exhibit by African American artist Mansa Mussa.

The exhibit on Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History is moving to the Columbia High School Gallery in October.

Durand-Hedden also has created a book based on the exhibit. To order a copy for $12.50 (including shipping), use the Donation button to pay and put your name and address in the Comments box. Books can also be ordered by sending a check to Durand-Hedden House, PO Box 206, Maplewood, NJ 07040. Organizations wishing to order the book in quantity should write to info@durandhedden.org. The book can be previewed online.

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom

June 19, 2021, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Juneteenth will be celebrated at Durand-Hedden on Saturday, June 19th, as part of a MAPSO-wide program, in collaboration with the SOMA Community Coalition on Race. Come to see historical reenactors from the Civil War era, be inspired by a group of Black poets, and visit the exhibit on the History of Slavery in New Jersey.

You can make a reservation for a one-hour time slot between 11 am and 2:45 pm for free through the Maplewood Township Recreation Department.

Celebrating Juneteenth –June 19th, 2021

Juneteenth Emancipation Day, June 19, 1900
Photograph by Grace Murray Stephenson
Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

The Durand-Hedden House, in partnership with the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, will host a Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 19th, as part of a MAPSO-wide program. Come to see historical reenactors from the Civil War era, be inspired by a group of Black poets, and visit the exhibit on the History of Slavery in New Jersey.

Due to the pandemic, visitors to the Durand-Hedden House and Grasmere Park will need to make timed reservations through the Maplewood Township Recreation Department. Please use this link to make a reservation for a one-hour time slot between 11 am and 2:45 pm: https://maplewood.recdesk.com/Community/Program?category=9

African American Women and the Battle for Women’s Suffrage

History has long overlooked the role of African American women in the fight for women’s suffrage. Both before and after the Civil War, Black women had to struggle not only with the entrenched sexism faced by white women, but also with racism. They met the challenge, engaging in political activism and significant reform efforts from the earliest years of the suffrage movement.

An exhibit developed by the Durand-Hedden House chronicles the long battle for women’s suffrage. African American women’s contributions to this struggle are explored on our website:

The role of African American women in women’s suffrage and civil rights

The rise of African American Women’s Clubs

Profiles of three African American suffragists

A History of Slavery in New Jersey

Durand-Hedden and the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race created an extensive exploration of the History of Slavery in New Jersey. The exhibit was done in conjunction with our 2019 program on Juneteenth, the African American celebration of the end of slavery, and you can view it here.

An article about the Juneteenth program and exhibit has been published in Matters Magazine.

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom

June 9, 2019, 1:00 - 5:00 PM

Juneteenth, an African American celebration marking the end of slavery in the United States, will be the focus of the June program in collaboration with the South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race. The afternoon will include dancers, storytelling, a quilt display, musicians, activities for families and children, Civil War Colored Troop reenactors, as well as information about New Jersey’s history of slavery, which continued up until the time of the Civil War.

Schedule of events

Meet Harriet Tubman, a First-Person Historical Interpretation

March 5, 2017, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Inspiring actress and educator, Dr. Daisy Century of the American Historical Theater, will vividly portray Harriet Tubman, the well-known escaped slave, American abolitionist, humanitarian, and armed Union scout and spy during the Civil War. Tubman was a remarkable woman who found freedom for herself and then made sure others were brought to freedom.

Jefferson School, 518 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood

New Jersey and the Underground Railroad

New Jersey is associated with two of the leading figures in the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman worked in Cape May during the summers from 1849 to 1852. Native New Jerseyan William Still was a key organizer of the railroad operations in Philadelphia.

“Strike the Blow for Freedom” Civil War 6th Regiment U.S. Colored Troop

The 6th Regiment U.S. Colored Troop was organized near Philadelphia in 1863. Fifty-two of the 1,272 members of the 6th Regiment were born in New Jersey. The regiment took part in crucial engagements in Petersburg and Richmond, but its greatest battle was at New Market Heights.

To Cast a Freedman’s Vote

February 24, 2013, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

On March 31, 1870, Perth Amboy resident Thomas Mundy Peterson dropped a ballot into a box. It was a simple action that took, perhaps, all of a second or two. Yet, in that moment, Peterson made history as the first African-American to vote under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History is an illustrated 40-page book that traces the evolution of slavery in New Jersey, which began with Dutch settlement in the seventeenth century and continued through the end of the Civil War.


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