Teaching a lesson on slavery

Slavery, often thought to be an ugly fact of the past, was at the forefront Wedneday at Roosevelt and Normandin middle schools.

Students and staff observed United Nations International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, declared 60 years ago to bring awareness to plight of the approximately 27 million people in the world languishing under modern day slavery.

“Slaves range from very young to adults,” read student Brooke Vinagre during Roosevelt’s Abolition Day assembly. “They get sold, auctioned off and are taken away from their families. Shockingly, slavery still exits in many parts of the world including Thailand, Pakistan, India, Albania and even the United States … A slave in America during the Civil War could cost upwards of $600. Today, a child slave can be purchased for as little as $30.” read full story

Tour of Underground Railroad landmarks reveals city’s abolitionist history

Bristol Community College history students and others marking African-American History Month toured New Bedford’s Underground Railroad landmarks last week, visiting locations in the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and elsewhere downtown. read full story

New Bedford celebrates Douglass in annual readathon

A read-athon drew participants as diverse as New Bedford itself Sunday as the city honored its role in the inspirational life of a famous American slave. read full story

Before Carney and Douglass, there was Cuffe

CuffeeICONBefore Sgt. William Carney led his Civil War regiment to victory, Frederick Douglass scolded the American conscience into facing up to slavery. read full story

SouthCoast marks moment with its own inaugural balls

Washington, D.C., was not alone in its inaugural celebrations Tuesday night. SouthCoast had a strong showing as well, with hundreds of people attending local balls to commemorate the inauguration of Barack Obama. read full story

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Remembering the Black Yankee

hoaglandOver 100 area residents turned out to last week’s poetry reading by former New Bedford Poet Laureate Everett Hoagland at the Ocean Explorium, entitled: “Black Hands, White Sails: A Meditation on Blacks in the Maritime Trades”, in which Westport’s renowned Captain Paul Cuffe (1759-1817) had a starring role.  read full story

UMass Dartmouth MLK breakfast to feature author and actress Donzaleigh Abernathy Feb. 1

Governor’s special advisor on education Dana Mohler-Faria, former Student Affairs Vice Chancellor Sue Costa, and New Bedford Historical Society to be honored.
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New President / New Position Formed

Loretta “Lee” Blake was installed as the president at our last annual meeting. Joan Beaubian, is passing the baton of leadership to Loretta “Lee” Blake. After many years as President of the New Bedford Historical Society, Joan is moving into the new position of Executive Director.

Lee has been serving as Vice President for four years. In this time, Lee has written grants that have garnered almost $200,00.00 and as chairperson of the programming committee, she established the annual Frederick Douglass Read-a-thon, the Hidden History programs for local students and was responsible for most of the lectures, book signings and teacher workshops offered by the Society.

Lee, a native of New Bedford is a consultant for the Connecting Oceans Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a minor in African American and Women’s Studies from the University of Massachusetts and is working toward a Masters in Urban Policy. She has been an education administrator and teacher for 30 years and has taught at the high school and university level. She was the Director of Educational Services for the Cityof New York, serving in the office of Mayor David Dinkins.

Currently, Lee is the Director of the SouthCoast Educational Compact at University of MA at Dartmouth , a school, university and business partnership working to support public education in New Bedford.

NBHS Receives 2 Preservation Awards

WHALE and the New Bedford Preservation Society recognized the preservation efforts of the Society with awards for the Nathan and Polly Johnson House The Sarah R. Delano Preservation Awards are given annually by WHALE (Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE) to New Bedford area individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the rehabilitation, restoration and interpretation of the historic character and environment of Greater New Bedford.

The New Bedford Preservation Society awards and plaques are also presented annually to restoration projects in New Bedford that enhance and impact Historic New Bedford.

New Bedford Historical Society Scores at Celtics game from Ronald McDonald House Charities

L-R: Edie Stevenson: Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House charities; Ronald McDonald; Guy Shepherd, Vice President , New Bedford Historical Society and Charlie Winterhalter, President; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern New England and McDonald’s owner/operator

The Ronald McDonald House Charirities(RHMC)) of Eastern New England presented a $15,000 grant on the court during half time at a recent Celtics game This grant will be used to expand the “Hidden History” program (see below) which includes storytellers, field trips and presentations to middle and high school students on Saturday mornings at the New Bedford Friends’ Meeting House.

Since it began in 1986, RMHC of Eastern New England has awarded over $12 million to more than 1,000 non profit organizations and programs helping thousands of children and families. Grants also support the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and the Ronald McDonald Houses in Boston and Providence, which provide a home away from home to the families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals.