NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Monday, The Mariners' Museum and Park of Newport News announced it would be offering free, virtual programs in February to celebrate the culture and contributions of Black mariners.
The virtual sessions will be held over Zoom throughout the month.
It's not the first time the museum has dedicated February exhibits to exploring Black mariner culture, but with the museum closed for much of 2020, a spokesperson said curators had time to develop two new programs.
The first explores different regions of Africa, and the important waterways and entwining cultures there. The second, Hidden Histories, seeks to find the identities of Black people featured in the museum's displayed photos.
"Hidden Histories will give names, agency, and interpretation of the unidentified Black people depicted in the Museum’s Image Collection," wrote a spokesperson. "Part of this series will seek community engagement in helping gather names and personal stories to bring recognition, and thereby allowing the Museum to tell a more complete history of our shared maritime heritage."
They're kicking off in February, but the museum plans to continue offering both programs through 2021.
For a complete schedule of seminars, and summaries on the topics covered, visit The Mariners' Museum website.
Here's the virtual schedule for Black History Month:
- Celebrating Black History Month - Feb. 1 (1 p.m.)
- Anna Carries Water, written by Olive Senior and illustrated by Laura James - Feb. 1 (1 p.m.)
- Speakers Bureau: Jack Tar on the Waterfront - Feb. 3 (1 p.m.)
- Virginia Waterways and the Stories of Freedom Seekers in the Underground Railroad - Feb. 4 (7 p.m.)
- The Little Hippo, written by Géraldine Elschner and illustrated by Anja Klauss - Feb. 8 (1 p.m.)
- Hidden Histories - Feb. 9 (1 p.m.)
- If Dominican Were a Color, written by Sili Recio and illustrated by Brianna McCarthy - Feb. 15 (1 p.m.)
- Africa’s Kingdoms and Maritime Cultures: Carthage - Feb. 18 (1 p.m.)
- African American Medal of Honor Recipients during the Civil War - Feb. 19 (12 p.m.)
- Anansi and the Magic Stick, written by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Janet Stevens - Feb. 22 (1 p.m.)
- Africa’s Kingdoms and Maritime Cultures: The Swahili Coast - Feb. 23 (1 p.m.)
- Waterways of Africa: The Nile - Feb. 27 (1 p.m.)