June if a festive month for young people! Graduations and special events!

This year just happens to be particularly significant in the lives of some very deserving students. Harford County has been participating in the Smithsonian Journey Stories Youth Oral History Project for the past four months, and on June 2 presented at the Hosanna School Museum one of the first exhibitions in the country.

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In a remarkably short time, many groups came together to present a program thanks to the Smithsonian Institution, the Maryland Humanities Council, Harford County Public Library, the Historical Society of Harford County and the Havre de Grace Boys and Girls Club. All were there in their special shirts and outfits to present "Lost and Found: the Forgotten Communities of Americans in Harford County."

"Youth Curators" included Julianna Bond, Tatyana Sawyer and Taylor Cole from Aberdeen High School; Raymond Rembold from Aberdeen Middle School, A'maya Green; Alexandra Goffin from Edgewood High School; Julius Halstead from Patterson Mill High School; Nigel Hammett, Ian McDaniel, Jasmin Pearson, and Jafari Williams. Julius Halstead did oral histories at the Aberdeen Room Archives and Museum, and was narrator for the film.

The "youth curators" worked diligently over the short months with "tradition bearers" who included Doc and me, Tevis Hoke, Frederick Mitchell, Marcus Stansbury, Wardell Stansbury, Gladys Williams and Mary Williams. Stories were told of Freeborn Garrettson, who freed his farm workers nearly 100 years before emancipation and divided his farmland among them. Frederick Mitchell's family had farmland purchased by the federal government at the time Aberdeen Proving Ground was built, and continued to live in the Perryman area and operated a cannery. The Brown, Stansbury and Williams families were displaced from their homes on what would become Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Christine Tolbert served as executive director for the production crew of the film displays. Iris Leigh Barnes was project director, curator and designer. Project manager was retired Col. Patricia Cole; John Ryan, Patricia Cole and Iris Barnes did the audio visual production.

Adult mentor was Nates Washer, education director of Havre de Grace Boys and Girls Club. Oral history trainer and researcher was Mike Dixon, technology trainer was Maurice Coleman and videographer Will Winfield did the film. Imani Lewis and John Ryan were the researchers and Jennifer Idokogi served as public relations director.

Representing the Harford County Public Library was Bethany Hacker; Maryland Humanities Council Jean Wortman; David and Sharoll Love, artifacts; Bernie Bodt, artifacts and images; Dr. Sharon Stowers, Harford Community College; Denise Sconion, Harford County Public Library; and Carole DeRan, history.

Following the program all "youth curators" and "tradition bearers" were recognized and presented with certificates from the Smithsonian Institute, Humanities Council, Harford County Public Library, Hosanna School, Sen. Benjamin Cardin, Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Harford County Executive David Craig.

Refreshments were served at the Hosanna Church with special guest Frederick Douglas on hand to lend his historical hand to the occasion. Upper Harford County was at its best on a most historically significant day!

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