(2.2) The Congdon Street Baptist Church will be hosting a screening of the PBS film Becoming Frederick Douglass: Discover how a man born into slavery became one the nation’s most influential leaders. Presented by Stages of Freedom in conjunction with Rhode Island PBS, the video screenings will be followed by a discussion: Lee Blake of the New Bedford Historical Society in conversation with Robb Dimmick of Stages of Freedom. Go here for schedule and to register.
Not just a museum, Stages of Freedom has also created an invaluable archive of Rhode Island’s African American history. Located downtwon at 10 Westminster Street, the museum/gift shop uses its profits to support the Swim Empowerment program, Bowties for Boys, and other programs. (The shop has some real treasures: art, books, ephemera. Rickman has a particular interest in vintage juvenile literature.)
Stages co-founder Robb Dimmick is a professional performer, teacher, and scholar. He created the invaluable virtual tour, “On the Rhode to Freedom, A Roadside Guide to African American Sites in Rhode Island” which I often consult. He has also created “Disappearing Ink” a bibliography of writings by and about Rhode Island’s African American community. What a resource for scholars . . . and any students with Black History month assignments coming up.
Lee Blake, educator and president of the New Bedford Historical Society, has spent much of her life raising awareness about Black history, and the important role New Bedford played in the Underground Railroad in the 1800s.
And you will get to visit the church.