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The Woods Hole Community Black History Month Committee presents

Woods Hole Black History Month Celebration

2019: Black Migrations

All Woods Hole-based events are free and open to the public.

2019 Events

For a very special program of events celebrating Black History Month in Woods Hole

Thursday, February 21

The Road North: Why, When, & How Black People Migrated from the South

Daniel Black, Professor of African American Studies, Clark Atlanta University
Founder, Ndugu and Nzinga Rites of Passage Nation

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12:30 PM
Speck Auditorium in MBL's Rowe Laboratory
10 MBL Street, Woods Hole

Lecture Abstract:
Dr. Daniel Black will discuss and illuminate the various motivations which drove hundreds of thousands of black people from the south to Northern centers such as Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York, Kansas City, Boston, and St. Louis. These reasons are varied and complicated, to be sure, but one thing is certain: Black people were in search of the American dream and meant to find it. Often, these migrants were young people who became the urban workforce, filling factories and doing domestic work for twice or even three times what they had made picking cotton or working tobacco fields. Yet the north did not turn out to be Heaven. To be sure, racism in Northern cities equal that in the south. Yet economic opportunities made most stay and hope for the best. In this presentation/speech/lecture, Dr. Black will share some of those specific experiences and speak of the historical context in which black Americans risked everything in search of a “livable” life somewhere between the trials and tribulations of the South and the nation’s burgeoning centers of the North.

Daniel Black is an award-winning novelist, professor, and activist. His published works include They Tell Me of Home, The Sacred Place, Perfect Peace, Twelve Gates to the City, The Coming, and Listen to the Lambs. In 2014, he won the Distinguished Writer’s Award from the Mid- Atlantic Writer’s Association. The Go On Girl! National Book Club named him “Author of the Year” in 2011 for his novel Perfect Peace. Perfect Peace was also chosen as the 2014 selection for “If All Arkansas Read the Same Book” by the Arkansas Center for the Book at the Arkansas State Library. The novel has been reprinted more than ten times and is being heralded as an American literary classic. Dr. Black has also been nominated for the Townsend Literary Prize, Ernest J. Gaines Award, Ferro-Grumbley Literary Prize, Lambda Literary Award, and Georgia Author of the Year Prize.

In 2015, Dr. Black’s The Coming was published to broad critical acclaim. The novel is a first-hand account of the trauma and triumph of Africans aboard a slave ship in the 16th century. In 2016, Dr. Black’s long-awaited novel Listen to the Lambs was published. This novel explores the lives and agency of homeless people who find each other on the street and create lives of meaning without material substance.

A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Dr. Black spent his formative years in rural Blackwell, Arkansas, Dr. Black graduated from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) where he earned the prestigious Oxford Modern British Studies fellowship and studied at Oxford University. He was awarded a full fellowship to Temple University where he studied with poet laureate of the Black Arts Movement, Sonia Sanchez and earned his Ph.D. in African American Studies. Dr. Black is Professor of African American Studies at his alma mater Clark Atlanta University. Dr. Black lives in Atlanta and is the founder of the Ndugu-Nzinga Rites of Passage Nation, a mentoring society for African American youth.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

The Diseased Ship: Examining Cape Cod’s Connections to the Slave Trade
Meadow Hilly, Black Box Project

2:00 PM
Sea Education Association
Woods Hole Road, Falmouth

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

American Storyteller in Ghana
Sharon Kennedy, Storyteller and Grammy Award Nominee

12:15 PM
Quashnet Elementary
150 Old Barnstable Road, Mashpee
(Please note: event is open to Quashnet 5th & 6th Grade Students Only)

In 2012 Sharon Kennedy went on an extraordinary trip to Ghana and Burkina Faso. She and a friend traversed Ghana from the south to the north, and then into Burkina Faso, with a wonderful Ghanaian Muslim guide. It was very hot, the roads were bad, and the food was spicy, but the people were the friendliest she'd ever met.

Kennedy will present an hour long-show about this experience featuring Ghanaian folktales and songs. The audience will learn simple West African dance moves and easy-to-use instruments.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Environmental Justice of Renewable Energy 
Derrick Jackson, Award-winning journalist and author

4:00 PM
Speck Auditorium in MBL's Rowe Laboratory
10 MBL Street, Woods Hole

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The United States is undergoing an energy revolution, from rooftop solar in to onshore wind and from energy efficiency to offshore wind. What does that mean for communities that historically suffer disproportionately from pollution from fossil fuel mining, refining, shipping, storage and burning? Likely a lot, from asthma to drinking water. Derrick Jackson, who has written extensively on the coming American offshore wind industry and on policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, will try to make those connections.

Derrick Z. Jackson is an award-winning journalist and co-author and photographer of the 2015 book, “Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock,” published by Yale University Press.

Jackson is a former Boston Globe columnist and currently a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and contributor to ESPN’s The Undefeated and The American Prospect Magazine. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and is a 10-time award winner from the National Association of Black Journalists, a 2-time commentary winner from the national Education Writers Association, and a commentary winner from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

In 2018, his essays for UCS and The Undefeated earned a first prize for online commentary from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. In 2016, Jackson was a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, authoring a 2017 paper on the national media’s failed coverage of the Flint Water Crisis. He has written extensively on the emerging American offshore wind industry.

Prior to the Globe, Jackson was an award-winning journalist at Newsday, with the 1979 first prize for feature writing from the Professional Basketball Writers Association and co-winner of the 1985 Columbia University Meyer Berger Award for “coverage of police brutality and slum conditions that brought to life “some of the often forgotten neighborhoods and inhabitants of New York.”

Jackson is also an exhibited photographer, with images of Barack Obama, wildlife and landscapes. He was a 2013 and 2012 finalist in Outdoor Photographer magazine’s The American Landscape Contest and a 2018 semi-finalist in Nature’s Best Windward Awards.

Jackson is a native of Milwaukee, Wis., and is a 1976 graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Jackson was a 1984 Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University and holds three honorary degrees, from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Salem State University and the Episcopal Divinity School. He was also given Curry College’s Human Rights Award and the UW-Milwaukee Distinguished Alumni Community Service award for his volunteering for Scouting and Big Brothers.

Jackson is married to Dr. Michelle Holmes, a diet and breast cancer researcher. They have two grown sons, a social worker and a chef.

Harambee 2013


5:30 PM
Main Dining Room, MBL Swope Center, 5 North St., Woods Hole

An ethnic feast celebrating everyone of every race! Guests are asked to bring a potluck dessert to share!

Cape Cod African Dance & Drum Live Performance

6:00 PM
Main Dining Room, MBL Swope Center
5 North St., Woods Hole

Cape Cod African Dance & Drum is an ensemble of dancers and drummers who practice traditional West African and Afro-Caribbean dance and drumming on Cape Cod and the New England area. This troupe includes master West African drummers, as well as a diverse group of professional American artists with a variety of dance and music backgrounds. The ensemble performs to uplift the hearts of their audiences, playing for the joy and healing inherent in African traditions.

Woods Hole Black History Month events are sponsored by the Marine Biological Laboratory; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Science Center, the Woodwell Climate Research Center , and the Sea Education Association. All events are free and open to the public.