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Rokeby honors black history month with special programs

FERRISBURGH — Rokeby Museum will be open Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. throughout February in honor of Black History Month. Special programs for youth and adults will also be offered.
“Sometimes in the telling of stories of the Underground Railroad,” says director Catherine Brooks, “there can be an over-emphasis on the people who helped fugitives from slavery. This year as we honor the complex history of the African diaspora, we will focus on self-emancipated slaves that lived and worked on the farm that is today Rokeby Museum.”
On Sunday, Feb. 10, from 2 to 3 p.m., children ages 7 to 12 will be given the opportunity to become “History Detectives” as they meet Simon, Jesse, Jeremiah Snowden, and others — all fugitives from slavery who were sheltered at Rokeby. Children will examine the evidence — letters from the Museum collection — to discover what these people felt, what was important to them, and what they did to make their lives better.
Then, on Feb. 24, at 2 p.m., historian and Rokeby Museum director emerita Jane Williamson will give an illustrated talk “Finding Jesse — How Free & Safe: The Underground Railroad in Vermont Became a Reality”. She will talk about the research she did to understand more fully the circumstances of fugitives who lived at, or passed through Rokeby. The talk will not only illuminate the practice of history, it will also provide an understanding of the Underground Railroad from the point of view of the escapees themselves.
Admission to the museum during Black History Month is $8/adult and $6/students and children age 5 and up.

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