Black History Month program to focus on museum, memorial

“Exploring America’s Racism: Featuring the National Memorial for Peace & Justice” will be presented on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6:30-8 p.m., at the Lewes Public Library.

Co-hosted by the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice, the League of Women Voters of Sussex County and the Lewes Library, the panel discussion and slide presentation will aim to transport the audience to landmark civil rights and racial justice museums and monuments in the Deep South.

Inspired by Sussex County’s own Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, local activists Valerie Reeves, Rose Mary Hendrix and Alicia Jones sojourned to Alabama to enhance their knowledge and understanding of African-American history and the enduring legacy of racism.

Stevenson relates the history of slavery and later lynchings of minorities in the South to the treatment of people of color under the current criminal justice system, in his book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.”

Chairing the panel, Ocean View resident Reeves is a member of Lower Sussex NAACP, SDARJ and Sussex Community Gospel Choir, and director of the South Coastal AARP. Panelist Rose Mary Hendrix of South Bethany is a member of LWV of Sussex County, SDARJ, AAUW, Thresholds at Sussex Correctional Institution and the Ministerium of Bethany Beach Christian Church, and a mediator at the Community Justice Center. Panelist Alicia Jones of Lewes is a member of SDARJ, the Community Liaison Committee advising Cape Henlopen School District, the Sunshine Ladies’ Circle and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

The three panelists will share their experiences and insights, as well as little-known stories gleaned from their explorations of the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace & Justice in Montgomery. The co-sponsoring organizations are offering the program to the public not only as a tribute to Black History Month but also as a stimulus to continuing conversations about the ever-lingering problem of racism in America.

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