Black History Month

Finding Freedom

The New York Historical Society honors Black History Month

February 11, 2013
COURTESY PALMIERI FAMILY

 

Kid Reporter Adriana Palmieri meets with Rebecca Mir, an educator at the DiMenna Children’s History Museum, which is part of the New York Historical Society, in New York City.

"Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run.”  These words, written on a wall at New York Historical Society, in New York City, speak to several events that have kicked off 2013. Over the past month, Americans have celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the second Inauguration of President Barack Obama , the 100th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ birthday and Black History Month, which began February 1.

Of course, the fight for freedom for African Americans goes back much further in time than Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Right now, the New York Historical Society is honoring African-American history with a special exhibit on abolitionism, the movement to end slavery. As the museum highlights in its exhibit, this year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The document, issued by President Abraham Lincoln, began the process of freeing slaves in the U.S.

Remembering History

DiMenna Children’s History Museum, at New York Historical Society, teaches kids about U.S. history in a fun, interactive way. The museum offers scavenger hunts, book clubs and arts-and-crafts activities to teach children about important moments in our nation’s history. In January, the museum held a scavenger hunt that focused on abolitionism. 

Kid Reporter
Adriana Palmieri

At the scavenger hunt, Rebecca Mir, an educator at the museum, talked to TFK about the abolitionism exhibit. “The slave rebellions of the 1800s and the Fugitive Slave Act were important events that pushed history forward toward freedom,” she told TFK.  “The book Uncle Tom’s Cabin [by Harriet Beecher Stowe] also caused a lot of controversy and got people to oppose slavery.”  

The museum has more than 40,000 historical objects that cover 400 years of history. “Kids really like the toy train collection and the board games,” said Mir. “Some are 150 years old.”

Visiting museums that focus on history is a great way to find out about important people who made their mark on our world. As you think about the historical holidays and celebrations of January and February, remember the heroes who worked so hard to get us here!


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