NH Tidbits: February is African American History Month

Since 1976 every U.S. President has declared February to be Black History Month. Also called National African American History Month, it is considered an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans.  This month is also the time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.

New Hampshire has never had a large number of African Americans as residents. However, those who have lived here contributed (and still do) to their communities in varied and interesting ways. For example:

The Celebrated Ventriloquist and Professor of Legerdemain & Namesake of Potter Place, New Hampshire: Richard Potter (1783-1835)

Exeter New Hampshire, African American Poet, James Monroe Whitfield (1822-1871)

African-American Soprano and “Queen of Song”: Dover New Hampshire’s Nellie (Brown) Mitchell (1845-1924)

Milford New Hampshire Black Novelist and Spiritualist: Harriet “Hattie” E. (Green) Adams Wilson Robinson (1825-1900)

Manchester New Hampshire’s Human Rights Champion, Volunteer, Civic and Community Leader: Vanessa Leah Washington-Johnson-Bloemen (1953-2011)

Yet others can be found here: 2016 Black History Month in New Hampshire

One of the most important, ongoing educational series about New Hampshire’s black heritage can be found at the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail. Established over 20 years ago, their office is located at Discover Portsmouth (10 Middle St). In 2017 they have a Sunday Tea Lecture series, a Spring Symposium, a Fall Black New England Conference and regular walking tours for the trail.

*****ADDITIONAL READING****

History Channel: Black History Month

African American History Month

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