Hays-Heighe House exhibit highlights Black History Month in Harford

February is Black History Month, and the Harford County Human Relations Commissions encourages county residents to learn more by participating in local events.

The theme for Black History Month 2014 is "The Golden Jubilee of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

Black History Month was established to highlight the contributions of African Americans to the world, according to the Harford County Human Relations Commission.

One of the signature local events this year is an exhibit at the Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College.

The exhibit, "Faces of Freedom," will feature the documented stories of freedom seekers, abolitionists, and others who sought or fought for freedom in the years leading up to the Civil War, during the war and in its aftermath.

According to HCC Library Director Carol Allen, the exhibit is one part of a larger initiative at HCC to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Maryland Constitution of 1864, which ended slavery in Maryland.

In addition to the exhibit, they have organized several lectures, a book discussion series, a film discussion series, a play, and a closing ceremony, Allen said.  The full schedule is available at http://www.harford.edu/community/hays-heighe-house/events.aspx.

The exhibit will be in place through May 10.

"Faces of Freedom's" opening reception will be Wednesday, Feb. 19, 1-6 p.m. at the Hays-Heighe House, Harford Community College, 401 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air.

Another Black History Month themed event on Wednesday, Feb. 19, is a "Gather at the Table," luncheon, book discussion and signing, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the HCC Student Center, Room 243.

"Gather at the Table," by Thomas Norman De Wolf and Sharon Leslie Morgan, is the story of two everyday people from diverse backgrounds who are on a mission to overcome the trauma of America's legacy of slavery and the lingering effects of present-day racism.

According to the county Human Relations Commission, the annual theme for Black History Month is selected by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the organization continues to promote research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about African American life, history and culture to the global community.

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