Annual Meeting Features Performance, Kudos
A crowd assembled at the Museum of African American History on March 18,
2005, for the Annual Meeting and special performance of the life of Ellen
Craft. Marita Rivero, Board Chair, reviewed the far-ranging 2004 exhibits
and programs noting the landmark Portraits in Black exhibit, the popular
Camp Museum: Dig and Discover Black New England, and the Legacy Society
reception for College Presidents of Color. Ms. Glendora Putnam gave the
annual financial overview, reporting that the Museum of African American
History had finished the year just ($8,000) after depreciation.
Executive Director Beverly Morgan-Welch thanked board members, staff,
volunteers, members and donors for their support, and introduced the firm
of Piper Rudnick LLP to receive a Special Certificate of Appreciation for
their on-going donation of legal services to the Museum. On-hand for the
presentation of the certificate were Steve Nolan and former Piper Rudnick
attorney, Hannah Kilson, a member of the Museum Board of Directors.
Ms. Morgan-Welch presented a second Certificate of Appreciation to
volunteer Dr. Marion Kilson. Dr. Kilson researched and read every issue
published in the 31-year run of the abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator,
and recorded every mention of events or activities at the African Meeting
House and Abiel Smith School. Dr. Kilson gave a wonderful talk on her
research last October, research that will inform exhibits at the Museum
and the Boston Public Library in 2005 and 2006.
Joining the assembled crowd after the completion of the formal meeting was
a Cambridge Boy Scout Troop who would be spending the night at the Museum
for an Underground Railroad Overnight Adventure. They arrived just in time
for Director of Education L’Merchie Frazier to introduce Marcia Estabrook
to present The Ellen Craft Story – A Self-Emancipated Woman’s Account of
an Unusual Escape.
In December of 1848, Ellen Craft, a light-skinned Georgia slave, dressed
herself as a man and boarded a train bound for Savanna. Her husband,
William, posed as her slave. Four danger-filled days later they set foot
on free soil in Philadelphia, but this was only the beginning of their run
for freedom. Their journey continues through Boston, Nova Scotia, and
England in a true story filled with danger, narrow escapes, victory and
the love between a man and a woman united in their determination to be
If you missed the program, find it on the WGBH Forum Network.