Monday, January 28, 2013

New Haven Museum honors Black History Month with special event

NEW HAVEN — In honor of Black History Month, the New Haven Museum will continue its Spring 2013 Heroes & Villains lecture series with a lecture on the life of James W. C. Pennington, “a forgotten pioneer who helped lay the foundation for the contemporary civil rights revolution and inspire generations of future leaders,” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 6.
The snow date is Feb. 7.
Christopher L. Webber will speak about Pennington, the subject of his book, “American to the Backbone: The Life of James W. C. Pennington, the Fugitive Slave Who Became One of the First Black Abolitionists,” according to a release.
“Pennington is a forgotten hero of 19th century America—a former slave who became a Yale University scholar, congregational pastor, and international leader of the Antebellum abolitionist movement,” the release said. “He was so respected by European audiences that the University of Heidelberg awarded him an honorary doctorate, making him the first person of African descent to receive such a degree. As he fought for equal rights in America, Pennington’s voice was not limited to the preacher’s pulpit. More than a century before Rosa Parks took her transformational bus ride, Pennington challenged segregated seating in New York City streetcars.”
Webber, a grad of Princeton University and the General Theological Seminary in New York, is an author, including of “Welcome to Christian Faith,” “Beyond Beowulf,” and “A Year with American Saints.”
Webber “also written hymns included in several major hymnals in the United States and Canada,” the release said.
He and his wife, Margaret Elisabeth (Rose) Webber and their four children live in Sharon, the release said.

Also in the release: The New Haven Museum, founded in 1862 as the New Haven Colony Historical Society and currently celebrating its 150th Anniversary, is located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue. Join the Museum in exploring the stories behind some of the most important historical figures in the history of Greater New Haven and Connecticut. The lecture series will continue through 2013 as the New Haven Museum celebrates its 150th and the City of New Haven’s 375th anniversary. All lectures begin at 6:30 pm. Most lectures will be accompanied by book signings, and copies of each speaker’s books will be available for sale. All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Michelle Cheng, Director of Education, at (203) 562-4183 ext. 11 or

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.

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