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Black History Month

Start Date:
February 1, 2016

End Date:
February 29, 2016

Event Category:

The Hermitage
4580 Rachel's Lane
Nashville, TN 37076



« All Events

Feb. 13 – Memorial Service


Feb. 20 –Puppet Truck Program & Scout History Day


Feb. 27 – Sister’s Voices: The Music and Words of Enslaved Women


OngoingHermitage Slavery Toolkits (available online and on-site)

Ongoing – “Slavery at the Hermitage” free library programs


Annual Memorial Service

Saturday, February 13

Hermitage Church (on the grounds of The Hermitage)

1:00 PM

Featuring gospel group Broken

Join us for our annual commemoration of those enslaved here at The Hermitage and throughout the country. The service will feature prominent gospel group Broken. The performance will conclude with an invocation and procession to the slavery memorial “Follow the Drinking Gourd” behind Hermitage Church. 150 flowers will be laid, marked with the names of all those known to have been enslaved at The Hermitage.


Nashville Public Library’s Puppet Truck

Saturday, February 20

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

10:00AM – 12:00PM

Come enjoy a spectacular performance of “Anansi the Spider” by Nashville Public Library’s famous Puppet Truck! This colorful marionette and hand and rod puppet play is based on the African tales of a tricky spider who uses cleverness to achieve his wishes.  The beautiful marionettes for this program were created especially for the library by Wood and Strings Puppet Company, and the hand and rod puppets and sets were created by the library’s Wishing Chair Productions! Kids and grown-ups of all ages welcome to join in the fun.

11:00 – 2:00        *Scout History Day*

The Hermitage is delighted to invite local girl and boy scout troops to sign up and participate in our Scout History Day. Scouts will be given the chance to earn a badge by participating in the Puppet Truck program and learning about storytelling tradition in African-American history. All hands-on activities and materials will provided by the Hermitage staff. Pre-registration is required, and badges will be provided upon completion. Please contact Ashley Bouknight at abouknight@thehermitage.com by Feb. 10 to register your troop.


Sisters’ Voices: The Music and Words of Enslaved Women

Saturday, February 27

Performances at 11:00 and 1:30

Dr. Naima J. Bush, who performed her musical lecture “History of the Negro Spiritual” in 2015, is back this year with a new program. “Sister’s Voices” explores the lives of women trapped by the bondage of slavery, using music, poetry, storytelling and narrative.  The stories include accounts from women of The Hermitage as well as Anna Kingsley’s From Slave to Plantation Mistress, Sojourner Truth’s Ain’t She a Woman?, and Mariah of Carnton Plantation’s Caring for the Enemy Dead. Performances are 45 minutes.


“Slavery at The Hermitage” Outreach Programs

At the peak of The Hermitage’s success as a farm, Andrew Jackson owned about 150 slaves. How did one become a slave? How could widespread slavery happen in a country built on freedom? What was life like for a slave at The Hermitage? We will discuss these questions and make a beaded bracelet in memory of the enslaved.

February 2, 4:15, Bellevue Branch Library. For 4th-12th grades.

February 3, 4:00-5:00, Edgehill Branch Library. For 4th-12th grades.

February 4, 6:00-7:00, Old Hickory Branch Library. General public.

February 6, 2:00-3:00, Goodlettsville Branch Library. General public.

February 11, 6:00-7:00, Hermitage Branch Library. General public.

February 16, 3:30-4:30, East Nashville Branch Library. For 4th-12th grades.

February 25, 4:30-5:30, Thompson Lane Branch Library. For 4th-12th grades.


Education Toolkits:

Download the Toolkit

The origin of Black History Month traces back to noted scholar and advocate Carter G. Woodson, who created “Negro History Week” as a way to encourage educators and communities to teach about African-American contributions in history.  His first major initiative was creating K-12 History Toolkits for teachers and communities to use.  The Hermitage is proud to follow his example, and have developed an African-American History Toolkit to provide the community with photographs, artifacts, and resources for exploring our history, both on a local, regional, and national scale. Our 2016 toolkit is a first step, and we hope to re-issue the toolkit each year as we add additional materials and partner with other historic sites and museums to expand the sources on the Nashville region.   The Toolkit will be available online beginning February 1st, and free hard copies will be available upon request at our visitor center.


new hannah & aaron_compressed

During the national commemoration of Black History Month, the Hermitage will host four weekly programs exploring the progress made in African-American history and honoring the lives of those enslaved at the Hermitage. These programs will open your eyes to the untold stories of the men and women who called the Hermitage home. All of our programs are free but do not include admission into the Hermitage.
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