January 10, 2011
SCRANTON, Pa. – Steamtown National Historic Site, downtown Scranton, Pa., will partner with the Erie-Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society (ELDCPS) to present a variety of special programs to be offered on Saturdays in February in celebration of Black History Month. All programs begin at 1:00 p.m., and are included in the park's daily Entrance Fee.
On February 12, Michael Watts will perform "George: The Story of a Pullman Porter," a one-act monologue at the Steamtown Theater. This monologue, in words and music, tells the story of a Pullman Porter, from the pain and disappointment to the pride and accomplishment of a job well done under adverse conditions and racism.
The park will feature the gripping and emotional documentary from AMS Pictures, "Rising From the Rails: The Story of the Pullman Porter," on February 19. Based on the best-selling book by Larry Tye, this high-definition documentary chronicles the relatively unheralded Pullman Porters, generations of African-American men who served as caretakers to wealthy white passengers on luxury trains that traversed the nation in the golden age of rail travel. Unknown to most of their white passengers, porters played critical political and cultural roles; bringing elements of white culture to black communities, helping spread jazz and the blues from cities to rural communities, and bringing news, organizing skills, and seditious ideas about freedom from the urban North to the segregated South.
The film also explores how the black men who worked on George Pullman's railroad sleeping cars launched the first successful black trade union, helped kick-start the Civil Rights movement, and gave birth to today's African-American middle class. Rising from the Rails pays tribute to these men who rose—with dignity—from the rails.
The winter months offer the opportunity for visitors to explore our History, Technology and Roundhouse Museums at a relaxed pace. Tours of the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Locomotive Shops, where visitors have the opportunity to observe our emphasis on long-term repairs, are also offered most days during the winter months.
Located in downtown Scranton, Pa., Steamtown National Historic Site is open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. from January to April 9, 2011; regular Park hours, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. resume on April 10. From Interstate 81, exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway), follow signs to the main entrance at Lackawanna Avenue and Cliff Street. Additional details regarding interpretive and educational programs and activities, along with weather-related cancellations, may be obtained by calling (570) 340-5200 or by visiting the Steamtown NHS web site at www.nps.gov/stea.
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