Presidents’ Day

Our complicated history. This vintage kerchief box was spotted recently at Stages of Freedom, the downtown museum/gift shop, established to promote black culture for everyone, preserve local history, and support initiatives like the Swimming Empowerment program. I’m guessing that this item was originally sold at the Mt. Vernon gift shop? Mt. Vernon is of course the historic home of George and Martha Washington, and their slaves.

Stages of Freedom is not open on Mondays but check out this upcoming event: ‘Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah’ will be held this Saturday afternoon. Described as a “black culinary event with an exhibit of black kitchen collectibles and soulful dinner and dessert.” Seating is limited. All proceeds support swimming lessons for youth of color. Museum director Ray Rickman adds this helpful note:

Black Memorabilia is a historically important collecting area. Many items are offensive and were designed to demean African Americans. Black collectors now seek these items to ensure that racism isn’t forgotten. Our exhibit is courtesy of Onna Moniz John, an African American and the foremost collector of Black Memorabilia in Rhode Island.

Culinary event, $75, 12:30pm, Saturday, February 23, Stages of Freedom, 10 Westminster Street, (directions)

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