The Museum of African American History is dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of African Americans in New England from the colonial period through the 19th century.



2004 MAAH Past Events

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2004 Events Boston


Image: DollThursday, Feb. 5, 6-8 pm
Exhibit Opening:
Black Dolls

Bring your favorite doll to the opening reception for the Black Dolls exhibit and have it examined by Dorothy McGonagle, Director of Toys and Dolls for Skinner Inc.

All types of dolls are welcome. Enjoy a warm cup of cocoa and light refreshments while learning about the history and tradition of black dolls.

Come see this stunning collection of 19th and 20th century black dolls, including commercial dolls, handmade American folk dolls, and Kewpies dolls. Museum's Abiel Smith School, 46 Joy Street.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 10:30 - 1 pm
African-American Folk Doll Workshop
Image: dollCreate your own doll while learning about the history and traditions of black doll making in the Americas. Intergenerational workshop for the novice as well as the experienced doll maker of any age.

Materials provided or bring your own fabric remnants.

Workshop Fee: $10. Registration required. Museum's Abiel Smith School, 46 Joy Street, Boston.

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 3-5:30 PM
Book Signing
Museum will co-sponsor a program and book signing by author Jean Fagan Yellin about her 20-year book project on the life of Harriet Jacobs, author of "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," first published in 1861. Fagan Yellin's superb biography brings to life the first black woman to author a slave narrative.

Meet Ms. Fagan Yellin at the Dubois Institute, Barker Center, 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge.

Tuesday, Feb. 17, 7:30pm
Play: Harriet Tubman
Celebrate Black History Month and enjoy a unique one-woman award winning play by Kisha Kenyatta about the life of Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad's most famous conductor. Post-performance reception and book-signing with Kate Clifford Larson and Jean Humez, authors of two new biographies of Harriet Tubman, the first in 50 years. Bring the family!

FREE and open to the public. Sponsored by Museum and BOAF.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 7 pm-midnight
Jubilation 2004, Living Legends Awards Gala
The evening will celebrate the lifetime achievements of outstanding Boston leaders who have contributed to the advancement of civil rights in America. Highlights will include the Museum's signature Historical Tableaus, the awards featuring presentations to honorees Mr. Bill Russell and Judge Joyce London Alexander, dinner and dancing.

Make plans now to revel in a black-tie affair that will provide time for reflection, appreciation, dining and dancing, in honor of living legends-trailblazers and contemporary heroes who have made history.



Wednesday, March 17, 5 p.m.
At the Museum's Annual Meeting on March 17, guests were treated to a special presentation and a behind-the-scenes tour of the African Meeting House by the Museum's architects, John G. Waite Associates.

Waite, a nationally known historical architectural firm, is overseeing the design of the restoration of the African Meeting House, a multifaceted and intricate process to be completed in time for the historic building's 200th anniversary in December 2006. 

As they research the social and architectural history of the Meeting House, Waite Associates has removed the modern coverings on the walls and selected sections of the ceilings and floors revealing evidence of the Meeting House's long and interesting history, from ceiling beams original to the 1806 construction to shadows of bookshelves added by the Jewish congregation in the 20th century.


Wednesday, April 21, 8 pm
New England Slavery and the Slave Trade, Old South Meetinghouse. Opening session of a three-day conference. Speakers include Ira Berlin, University of Maryland; James Horton, George Washington University; and Joanne Melish, University of Kentucky.


2004 Events Nantucket

Saturday, May 22
Soulfege returns to Nantucket!
Don't miss this sensational a capella singing group's summer concerts during the Nantucket Wine Tasting festival. Together since 1998, this group of Harvard Alumni features: Derrick Ashong, Jonathan Gramling, Sheldon Reid, and James Shelton. Performances begin at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Cost is FREE to Museum members and $8 for non-members.

Wednesday, August 11, 7pm
Talk and Book signing with David Brion Davis on "Religion, Moral Values and Our Heritage of Slavery." Davis is a Sterling Professor of history at Yale University and Director of Yale's Gilder Lehrman Center for the study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. Previous works include The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823, which won a national book award and the Bancroft prize, and The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture, which won a Pulitzer Prize. Co-Sponsored with the Nantucket Historical Society.

Boston Continued


Wednesday, May 12, 7 p.m.
Millennium Conversation
Revisiting Brown: What did it do for us? What did it do to us?
On the 50th anniversary of "Brown v. Board of Education," and the 154 anniversary of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling in "Roberts v. Massachusetts" which set forth the doctrine of separate but equal schools, Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. will lead a distinguished panel in a discussion about where these landmark decisions have taken us
and look at the agenda for advancing forward. The panel will include Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson; The Honorable Judge Margaret Burnham, Associate Professor of Law at Northeastern University; The Honorable U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner; Robert Ward, Dean, Southern New England School of Law; and Jonathan Kozol, award-winning author, urban educator and leader, and social justice activist.

Professor Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Associate Dean of Clinical Programs, will be available to autograph his new book on the All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Board v. Board of Education.


For more on Brown vs. Board of Education see Brown@50: Annotated Chronology


Sunday, June 6, 2pm
Exhibit Opening
Portraits in Black: Gaining Ground, Holding

Meet black elected officials from New England at the opening reception for the new exhibit Portraits in Black.


Thursday, September 23, 7-9 p.m.
A Tribute to David Walker
Celebrate the 175th anniversary of the publication of David Walker's "Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World," one of the most important American political and social manifestos of the 19th Century. Born a free black man in Wilmington, N.C., Walker moved to Boston in 1825. A powerful leader of the Abolitionist movement, Walker was an agent for the nation's first black newspaper, Freedom's Journal. Join us for a special program where several of today's community leaders share Walker's profound words and ONE LUV performs a musical tribute. Historian and author Peter P. Hinks will set the stage and do a book-signing. Hinks, author of a new edition of David Walker's Appeal, is a lecturer at Yale University, where he also serves as Associate Editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers. Old West Church, 131 Cambridge,  Street, 7-9 p.m.


Friday, Oct. 22, Noon-1 PM
Brown Bag Lunch & Lecture
Marion Kilson will share stories of her research “Through Liberator Eyes: The African Meeting House and Its Community” in a noon-time lecture. Bring a friend and a brown bag lunch to hear about the amazing events and heroic adventures reported in the abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, published weekly by William Lloyd Garrison from 1831-1865. Marvel at the imposing stone used by Garrison to print the Liberator on permanent display at the Museum. Members of the Garrison family will be our special guests. Museum’s Abiel Smith School gallery.


Sunday, Nov. 7, 2-4 pm
Exhibit Opening
Visual Stories: The Artwork of James Ransome

Meet the artist!
James E. Ransome is an African-American illustrator of children’s books, whose exhibit, Visual Stories, opens on this day at the Museum. Ransome and his wife, author, Lesa Cline-Ransome, with whom he collaborates on many books, will join us to sign their books and to present a child-friendly slide show about Ransome’s work as an artist. The exhibit opening program will also feature storytelling by the Museum’s Director of Education, L’Merchie Frazier. Light refreshments.