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Westfield Historical Society Presents Black History Exhibit

Ethel M Washington donated exhibit 'Union County - Black Soldiers and Sailors in the Civil War'

In celebration of Black History month and the nation's commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War the Westfield Historical Society will be hosting an exhibit donated by Ethel M Washington entitled, Union County - Black Soldiers and Sailors in the Civil War. The exhibit will be displayed at the Reeve House located at 314 Mountain Avenue, Westfield N.J. beginning February 16. On Saturday, February 16 at 1PM a special gallery talk will be given by Ms. Washington  to kick off the exhibit which will run through March 2013.  

April 12, 2011 marked the beginning of the nation's four year (2011-2015) commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the Emancipation of enslaved Americans. The exhibit will showcase people of African descent (Blacks and Mulatttos) from the "West Fields" and surrounding Union county who were actively engaged in the war for their freedom and their right to citizenship. On display are portraits of  Union county Black and Mulatto soldiers and sailors that enlisted in the regiments of the United States Colored Troops(USCT), as well as in white regiments raised in Union county.

Ethel Washington currently serves as History Programs Coordinator, Union County Office of Cultural Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks and Community Renewal. She has spent most of her career working in various cultural and New Jersey institutions of higher education including part time at the Newark Museum, Montclair Art Museum and the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution in New York City.

The Westfield Historical Society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and encourage interest in history, Westfield and its residents through educational efforts and community outreach programs. The Reeve house serves as the organization's headquarters, museum, and history and cultural center.

Space is limited for the gallery talk and early reservations are encouraged. For more information on this program or for reservations please contact the Westfield Historical Society at 908-654-1794. For more information about the Westfield Historical Society or to join via credit card, please visit our website at www.westfieldhistoricalsociety.org and click on membership link at the bottom of the page.

Donald March 02, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Many of the displayed pictures are definitely NOT black soldiers (nor mulattos), and were misidentified as such. The book from which they were taken -- "Union County's Black Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War" -- contains hundreds of mistakes and is totally lacking in legitimate scholarship. This is why there are virtually no sources or references supplied for the outlandish claims. In this regard, check out the various comments posted for the book on Amazon.com.

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