The Black Church In RI At ‘Stages Of Freedom’

A new exhibit “Do Lord Remember Me — The Black Church in Rhode Island” is up at Stages of Freedom, the non-profit museum and shop right across from the Turk’s Head on Westminster.

The exhibit, chronicling 300 years of the state’s black religious history through images and text, is the result of over two years of research performed by museum director, Ray Rickman, and exhibit curator Robb Dimmick. From the ProJo,

Paid for thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Rhode Island Council of Humanities, the exhibit has been on tour since July, making stops at a dozen colleges and churches in Rhode Island, so far. Rickman would like everyone in the state to see it.

“We believe if people knew more about people, particularly black people, they would respond better to the current problems,” Rickman said Sunday at the Stages of Freedom Shop & Museum, a combination museum, bookstore and event space.

Mr. Rickman — a fixture on the Rhode Island political and cultural scene for decades, and still in demand for his opinions and analysis — is on hand in the museum most days.  Stages of Freedom hosts events throughout the year including: black history walking tours, the very popular Harlem Rent Parties, Bow Ties for Boys, Christmas with Ella. They fill up early so get on the mailing list.

Proceeds from the museum shop benefit his Swim Empowerment Program. Every year Stages of Freedom funds swimming lessons for children of color at seven partnering YMCA clubs.

Last year we put 311 children in swimming lessons. This year our goal is 400.

Exhibit hours are Thursday-Friday from 8am to 5:30pm. and Saturday-Sunday from noon to 5pm through February 28. Admission is free.

Stages of Freedom, 10 Westminster Street, (directions)

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