Moving Beyond Black History Month
New Jersey Authors Partner with Museums and Educators in a State-Wide Symposium about African-American Life and History in the Region
William Trent House Museum and Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM) Join Forces to Boost Understanding of African American Presence in Historic Sites and Museums
TRENTON, NJ: February 1, 2017 – On January 24, 2017, an all-day invitational symposium was held at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Trenton, NJ, to discuss how to better include and interpret the history of people of African descent. The symposium was cohosted by two of New Jersey’s public history organizations, the William Trent House Museum Association and the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM) Board.
The symposium engaged influencers from the museum community, along with members of local and state historic commissions, including the New Jersey Council on the Humanities, New Jersey Historical Society, Pennsbury Manor, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown/Jamestown, the William Trent House, and the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum. The discussion centered on correcting a historical narrative that has often overlooked the presence and contributions of African Americans over the past 300 years.
“We are very grateful to Beverly Mills and Elaine and John Buck, from the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, for bringing their informative presentation about the African American presence in the region to the Trent House last April,” remarked Sam Stephens, Vice President of the Trent House. “At that presentation, we were challenged to answer our own questions about the history of the Trent House concerning the contributions of the Africans enslaved there. This spurred us to think about how we could work together to ensure that the lives of all people of African descent who lived in the region would be acknowledged.”
The event was moderated by Linda Caldwell-Epps, President of 1804 Consultants and former CEO of the New Jersey Historical Society. “I was proud to be part of an amazing conversation centered on how to give voice and pay homage to those whose toil helped to give definition to this experiment we call the United States of America,” reflected Caldwell-Epps. “The Symposium gave me hope that one day we will live out those principles set forth by our ancestors—those principles that advocate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all citizens.” By invitation only, observers from the educational sector, historic institutions, museums, and the archeology field were encouraged to participate in the discussion on questions that included:
- How can historic sites and institutions confirm the significant influence African Americans have had on the development of American society and culture?
- How can historic sites and institutions prepare their leadership and staff to present the lives of people of African descent in authentic, deep, and nuanced ways?
- How can historic sites and institutions engage visitors in understanding difficult issues relating to slavery, injustice, discrimination, and racism while recognizing and dealing with discomfort and resistance that may arise?
- How can historic sites help visitors see the connection between the experiences of African Americans in the past and our society and our lives today?
Participants all agreed and acknowledged that interpreting difficult history is challenging and will require a series of steps and follow-up symposiums. “We are heartened that so many stakeholders around the state of New Jersey showed up and deeply engaged in a long overdue conversation about race, history, and how African American histories are interpreted at historic sites and museums,” notes Elaine Buck, co-author with Beverly Mills of the forthcoming If These Stones Could Talk: The African American Presence in the Hopewell Valley and Surrounding Areas, to be published by Wild River Books. Buck continues, “We look at our work as one important example of presenting stories and typically invisible histories in our state’s past. We are thankful to the boards of the William Trent House and the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM) for opening up the difficult conversations that can lead us to future symposiums as well as a state-wide resource bank.”
About the William Trent House Museum: Owned, maintained, and operated by the City of Trenton with assistance from The Trent House Association, the 1719 William Trent House is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Sites and designated a National Landmark by Congress. The meticulously restored house, kitchen garden, and apple orchard provide visitors with a glimpse into life in pre-Revolutionary America, with its interpretation of the lives of the diverse Trent household, which included family members and enslaved and indentured servants. www.williamtrenthouse.org
About the Stoutsburg Sourland African-American Museum (SSAAM): The Stoutsburg Cemetery Association, in partnership with the Sourland Conservancy, is creating an educational museum to interpret and promote the early history and rich legacy of African Americans in this area. The Sourland Mountain African American Museum will be first African American museum in Central New Jersey. Residents and visitors will learn about the history of African Americans in the Sourlands and Hopewell Valley. School and community groups will have educational cultural and community-building experiences. www.facebook.com/pg/stoutsburgsourlandafricanamericanmuseum/about/
About Wild River Publishing: With over thirty years of publishing experience, Wild River Books upholds the top standards of the industry and offers strategic publishing solutions for the 21st century. Through Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC, Wild River Books also runs the international online literary and arts magazine Wild River Review (www.wildriverreview.com) with over 10,000 Facebook followers and loyal readers from every corner of the world. https://www.facebook.com/wildriverreview/
Contact: Kimberly Nagy.
In 2006, Kimberly Nagy founded Wild River Review with Joy E. Stocke; and in 2009, they founded Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC. With more than twenty years in the field of publishing, Nagy specializes in market outreach and digital media strategies as well as crafting timeless articles and interviews. She edits many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.
Kimberly Nagy is a poet, professional writer, and dedicated reader who has interviewed a number of leading thinkers, including Academy-Award winning filmmaker, Pamela Tanner Boll, MacArthur Genius Award-winning Edwidge Danticat, historian James McPherson, playwright Emily Mann, biologist and novelist, Sunetra Gupta and philosopher Alain de Botton.
Nagy is an author, editor and professional storyteller. She received her BA in history at Rider University where she was influenced by professors who stressed works of literature alongside dates and historical facts–as well as the importance of including the perspectives of women and minorities in the historical record. During a period in which she fell in love with writing and research, Nagy wrote an award-winning paper about the suppression of free speech during World War I, and which featured early 20th century feminist and civil rights leader, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.
Nagy continued her graduate studies at University of Connecticut, Storrs, where she studied with Dr. Karen Kupperman, an expert in early contact between Native Americans and the first European settlers. Nagy wrote her Masters thesis, focusing on the work of the first woman to be accepted into the Connecticut Historical Society as well as literary descriptions of Native Americans in Connecticut during the 19th century. Nagy has extensive background and interest in anthropological, oral history and cultural research.
After graduate school, Nagy applied her academic expertise to a career in publishing, in which she worked for two of the world’s foremost publishers—Princeton University Press and W.W. Norton—as well as at Thomson, Institutional Investor Magazine, Routledge UK, and Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.
Kimberly Nagy in this Edition
AIRMAIL – LETTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
AIRMAIL – VOICE FROM SYRIA
ARTS – ART
ARTS – FILM REVIEWS
ARTS – MUSIC
ARTS – PHOTOGRAPHY
The Triple Goddess Trials: Fire in the Head: Brigit’s Mysterious Spark
The Triple Goddess Trials: Introduction
The Triple Goddess Trials – Meeting Virginia Woolf at the Strand
The Triple Goddess Trials: Me and Medusa
The Triple Goddess Trials: Aphrodite and the Lightbulb Factory
The Triple Goddess Trials: Goddess of Milk and Honey
The Triple Goddess Trials: Kali’s Ancient Love Song
ASHLEY – Renee Ashley: A Voice Answering a Voice
BELLI – Giocanda Belli – The Page is My Home
BOLL – Pamela Tanner Boll: Dangerous Women: An Interview with Academy Award Winner Pamela Tanner Boll
DANTICAT – Create Dangerously- A Conversation with Edwidge Danticat
CHARBONNEAU – A Cruise Along the Inside Track: With Le Mobile’s Sound Recording Legend Guy Charbonneau
de BOTTON – The Art of Connection: A Conversation with Alain de Botton
GUPTA – Suneptra Gupta – The Elements of Style: The Novelist and Biologist Discusses Metaphor and Science
HANDAL – Nathalie Handal – Love and Strange Horses
KHWAJA – Waqas Khwaja: What a Difference a Word Makes
MAURO: New World Monkeys: An Interview with Nancy Mauro
MORGANSing, Live, & Love Like You Mean It: An Interview with Bertha Morgan
MOSS – Practical Mystic–Robert Moss: On Book Families, Jung and How Dreams Can Save Your Soul
OGLINE – BEN FRANKLIN.COM: Author & Illustrator Tim Ogline explains why Ben Franklin would be a technology evangelist today
OLSEN – Greg Olsen – Reaching for the Stars: Scientist, Entrepreneur and Space Traveler
PALYA – Beata Palya – The Secret World of Songs
SCHIMMEL – Moonlight Science: A Conversation with Molecular Biologist and Entrepreneur, Paul Schimmel
SHORS – Journey into the Male & Female Brain: An Interview with Tracey Shors
von MOLTKE and SIMMS – Dorothy von Moltke and Cliff Simms: Why Independent Bookstores Matter, Part I
WARD – On the Rocks: Global Warming and the Rock and Fossil Record – An Interview with Peter Ward, Part One, and
On the Rocks: Global Warming and the Rock and Fossil Record – An Interview with Peter Ward, Part Two
WILKES – Labor of Love: An Interview With Architect Kevin Wilkes
LITERATURE – MEMOIR
LITERATURE – POETRY
LIVE FROM THE NYPL
Fountain of Curiosity: Paul Holdengraber on Attention, Tension and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library at 100: From the Stacks to the Streets
Paul Holdengraber: The Afterlife of Conversation
That Email Changed My Life: Rolex Arts Initiative. Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet Tracy K. Smith Celebrates Rolex Arts Initiative
First Editions / Second Thoughts — Defending Writers: PEN and Christie’s Raise One Million Dollars to Support Freedom of Expression
ON AFRICA: May 4 to May 10 — Behind the Scenes with Director Jakab Orsos: Co-curated by Award-Winning Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Page is My Home: Giaconda Belli – Nicaraguan Poet, Writer and Public Intellectual
Georgian Writer David Dephy’s Second Skin
The Power of Conversation: David Grossman and Nadine Gordimer – The Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture
NEW FROM WILD RIVER BOOKS – Brief Eulogies at Roadside Shrines
Daring Collaborations: Rolex and LIVE from the NYPL at the New York Public Library
Wild River Books Announces the Stoutsburg Cemetery Project: The Untold Stories of an African American Burial Ground in New Jersey
Wild River Books: Surprise Encounters by Scott McVay
Wild River Review and Minerva’s Bed & Breakfast Presents – “BITTER” Writing in a Weekend: How to Write About the Things We Can’t Change
ALLEN – Quarks, Parks, and Science in Everyday Life: Filmmaker Chris Allen’s Documentary Where Art Meets Science in a Vacant Lot
HOLT – Rush Holt: An Interview with Rush Holt
MANN – Boundless Theater: An Interview with Emily Mann
Keeping Time: A Conversation with Historian James McPherson