Several Cape Cod Events to Commemorate Black History Month

HYANNIS – The board and resident artists of the Zion Union Heritage Museum will present several events commemorating Black History Month throughout February.

A series of films, panel discussions and presentations will be held at the museum and other venues to highlight the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans, Cape Verdeans and other ethnic groups throughout the region and the nation.

“I’m mainly interested in spreading the cultural base of people of color on Cape Cod across Cape Cod,” said John Reed, the president of the museum’s board.

“Too many times I go places and people don’t know some of the famous people of color who are here and our job over here at the Zion Union Heritage Museum is to promote people of color on Cape Cod.”

The museum in Hyannis, which partners with cultural and community organizations across the Cape, showcases a network of artists, musicians, local historians and writers.

The museum represents Pamela Chatterton-Purdy, whose art and history exhibition “Icons of the Civil Rights Movement, Past and Present” portrays heroes in the historic struggle that culminated in the 1950s and 1960s and continues today.

Long-time Barnstable High School Art Director Carl Lopes is also a noteworthy resident artist. He creates paintings that are contemporary in feel but also reflect centuries of influential African tradition and design.

Robin Joyce Miller is an award winning New York educator and artist whose work focuses on African American heritage themes using mixed media collage quilts and in her poetry. She is also a resident artist.

One work from each artist will be hung in the Cape Cod Museum of Art throughout Black History Month.

Another highlight is the screening of “Journeys in the Light, Untold Stories of Cape Cod” at the Zion museum on February 3.

The documentary celebrates the diverse population that have called Cape Cod home since the arrival of the Mayflower and long before. The 2015 film is being newly released in an updated version.

Reed said there are still racial challenges on Cape Cod, especially for immigrant communities who are in fear from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“We have to work to delay some of those fears,” Reed said. “We are working with churches. We are working with other community groups as a network to try to sort out what options people have and what resources they can go to.”

Reed said the current status of race relations on Cape Cod is better than it was in the past.

“For those of us in the community of color, we are working harder now than we were before,” he said. “We thought that some of the stuff would go away. Apparently some of it has not gone away so we’re still on the job.”

A complete schedule of events can be found below.

Thursday, February 1. 6 pm. Presentation by Zion Museum resident artist Robin Joyce Miller

titled The Influence of Jazz on Art. Cape Cod Museum of Art. $10 for CCMoA and ZUHM

members. $12 for non-members.

Saturday, February 3. 2-4 pm. Open house. 2:30 pm screening of the documentary Journeys in

the Light, Untold Stories of Cape Cod. 400 years of the little-known history of People of Color in

this region, featuring art, artifacts, and archival material from the museum. Zion Union Heritage

Museum. Refreshments. Donations accepted.

Monday, February 5, 1:30-2:30 pm. Screening of the documentary Journeys in the Light, Untold

Stories of Cape Cod. Barnstable Senior Center (Free admission)

Friday, February 9, 1:30-2:30 pm. Presentation by Zion Museum resident artist Carl Lopes. The

artist will show his work and discuss the “how” and the “why” of his unique and intriguing

paintings. Barnstable Senior Center (Free admission)

Saturday, February 10. 2-4 pm. A Diseased Ship at Home Port—Cape Cod Sea Captains and the

Atlantic Slave Trade. A talk by Meadow Dibble Hilley, Ph.D. and editor of The International

Educator newspaper. Zion Union Heritage Museum. Donations accepted.

Thursday, February 15. 6 pm. Screening of the documentary Journeys in the Light, Untold

Stories of Cape Cod, followed by a discussion with the artists and filmmaker. Cape Cod Museum

of Art. $10 for CCMoA and ZUHM members. $12 for non-members.

Saturday, February 17, 2-4 pm. Tales of Cape Cod. An oral history project of the Kennedy family

on Cape Cod. Zion Union Heritage Museum. Donations accepted.

Monday, February 26, 1:30-2:30 pm. Screening of the documentary Icons of the Civil Rights

Movement, Past and Present, followed by a discussion with Zion Museum resident artist Pamela

Chatterton-Purdy and her husband Rev. David A. Purdy, who researched and wrote the film’s

historical material. Barnstable Senior Center (Free admission)

Wednesday, February 28, 1:30-2:30 pm. Coding Underground Railroad Quilts by Nancy

Brunswick. Barnstable Senior Center (Free admission)

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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