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In celebration of Black History Month Kingston, I will be presenting a multimedia event — Black Cultural History of Ulster County — about the lesser-known and certainly under-acknowledged cultural history of our region. Presented with historical context through a wide range of rare photographs and video clips, I cover the arts, music, photography, dance, and even boxing, plus an overview of local industries such as brick-making, and how the Black community played an integral part in building major infrastructure projects such as the D&H Canal and the Ashokan Reservoir. We will also highlight the many connections to community activism.
The program includes: Father Divine, Augusta Savage, The Harlem Renaissance, Harlem Artists Guild, artists Robert Blackburn and Ben Wigfall, dancer Peg Leg Bates, local photographer Mickey Mathis, and boxer Billy Costello and the boxing community of Kerhonkson. The music segments include Odetta, Jimi Hendrix, Jack DeJohnette, Richie Havens, Sonny Rollins, and local Juma Sultan, through today with Simi Stone, and more.