Black History Month in February

Crew of whaling ship Wanderer, 1924, colorized
Crew of the Wanderer, 1924, colorized

Original image courtesy of New Bedford Whaling Museum

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News Release Date: January 29, 2017

Contact: Emily G. Prigot, 508-996-4095 x6105

Contact: Rufai Shardow, 508-996-4095 x 6108

In celebration of Black History Month, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park will offer several programs to recognize and honor the remarkable achievements of African-Americans from New Bedford. All events will be held at the visitor center located at 33 William Street. All programs are free and open to everyone.
On Thursday February 9th from 5:00-8:00p.m., in partnership with AHA!, the New Bedford Historical Society, and the Freetown Historical Society, park rangers will display and discuss two Civil War Medals of Honor. William Carney, a soldier from the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, was the first African-American to receive the Medal of Honor. Rangers will tell the story of the Battle of Fort Wagner where Carney performed a truly heroic act of valor and patriotism. Also, the Medal of Honor given to John Deane of Freetown earned at the Battle of Fort Steadman will be on display.  
Also at the visitor center, on February 9th at 5:30p.m., New Bedford’s own YAP!, the Youth Ambassador Program, will premiere their latest music video, “The Struggle.” Meet the artists and have a discussion about the social justice issues that have faced New Bedford for hundreds of years and those that we still face today. Using America’s National Parks as inspiration, the Youth Ambassador Program has created award-winning, provocative, and inspiring works of art.
On Saturday February 18th, from 1:00-4:00p.m., Rangers Rufai Shardow and Mark Mello will present “The Story of Henry ‘Box’ Brown.” This interpretive program tells the dramatic and courageous story of an escaped slave, who mailed himself in a box for a twenty-seven hour journey to freedom.
During school vacation week, February 22-24, from 11:00a.m.-12:00p.m., bring the kids down to the visitor center for a fun and interactive ranger-led program focusing on the incredible contributions of African-Americans in New Bedford and their impact around the world. See if you could have fit into Henry “Box” Brown’s box or grab a coloring book and learn about Frederick Douglass, Polly Johnson, and others.
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and interpret America’s nineteenth century whaling industry. The park, which encompasses a 13-block National Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park Service area addressing the history of the whaling industry and its influence on the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States. The visitor center is wheelchair-accessible, and is free of charge. For more information, call the visitor center at 508-996-4095, go to or visit the park’s Facebook page at Everyone finds their park in a different way. Discover yours at
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Last updated: January 29, 2017

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33 William Street
New Bedford, MA 02740



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