2017 Black History Month Programming at The Hermitage
Black History Month Presented by Regions Bank
The history of The Hermitage as a residence for the Jackson family spans many generations. President Jackson and his wife, Rachel, settled on this property in 1804, where their heirs remained for the next eight decades. While stories of the family are well documented, it is equally as important to remember the stories of the over 150 enslaved African Americans who lived on this land for nearly sixty years and made significant contributions to The Hermitage plantation and the Jackson family. As historians, it is our responsibility to convey to our visitors that these individuals were more than just characters in events void of agency, but human beings with many layers who contributed greatly in the shaping of their own destinies. In the case of The Hermitage, it is acknowledging all of the individuals who lived, worked, and died on the property for several generations. Through oral histories, genealogy research, and archaeological digs we are able to trace the lives of several families of The Hermitage enslaved community from slavery to freedom.
For 2017, our interpretation of African American history, particularly the former enslaved community on the site, focuses on producing more inclusive interpretive materials as well as developing a stronger relationship with the surrounding community. In addition to public programs, an educational toolkit was created to connect the history of the enslaved community at The Hermitage to the larger historical narrative of African-American history and culture in the United States.
Please join us throughout the month of February to learn more about the enslaved community at The Hermitage and their connection to national and local African American history.
- February 4th – African-American Music -Bright Star Theatre Group
- February 11th – Genealogy Workshop –Nashville Public Library: Main Branch
- February 18th – Lecture and book signing with Jesse J. Holland, author of The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slavery Inside the White House
- February 25th – Memorial Program with Princely Players
This year our Black History Month programs were developed with the assistance our new Black History Month Community Committee which is comprised of educators, librarians, curators, and leaders within the Nashville area:
Ashley Bouknight, Ph.D., Assistant Curator at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Hannah Howard, Director of Public Programs at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Abigail Gautreau, Ph.D, Digital Humanities Research Fellow, Center for Historic Preservation, Middle Tennessee State University
K.T. Ewing, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of History, Tennessee State University
Learotha Williams, Jr. Ph.D, Assistant Professor of History, Tennessee State University
Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, Ph.D, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French, Director of African American and Diaspora Studies & Research Center
Chajuan Fitzgerald, President, Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc, Nashville Chapter
Taneya Y. Koonce, Representative, Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc, Nashville Chapter
Reverend Jimmy Greer, Sr., Pastor, Friendship Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee
Amber Williams, Project Coordinator for Nashville Public Library, Special Collections Division
Amber Mitchell, Education Coordinator, American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)
Kelly Wilkerson, Archivist / Education Outreach Coordinator, Tennessee State Library and Archives
Lyndell B. Edmondson, Instructional Designer, John Early Museum Magnet Middle School