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January 10, 2017

Afro-American museum marks its 25th anniversary

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Saturday’s speaker, Cheryl LaRoche teaches in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland. Her first book, Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance was published in 2014 by the University of Illinois Press.
The Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County Museum and Research Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a year-long series of events, starting Saturday Jan. 14.

The events will emphasize the theme, “Telling Our Own Story.”

Cheryl Laroche will give the first presentation, “Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad,” at 1 p.m. at the center in The Plains.

Following Dr. Laroche’s presentation, the local MLK Choir perform a concert with the them, “A Call to Come Together — You Are the Dream.”

Other events planned this year:

• 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 — “Telling Our Own Story” in film and music.

• 12:30 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25— “The Storm,” a black history production. (Tickets available at

February is Black History Month, with the national theme, “The Crisis in Black Education.”

• 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 3 — “The Storm.”

• 12:30 and 4 p.m. Saturday, March 4 — “The Storm.”

• 1 p.m. Saturday, March 11 — “Telling Our Own Story” in literature, narrated by Timothy Hughes

• 1 p.m. Saturday, April 8 — “Telling our Own Story: Needles, Spoons and Trowels,” opening art exhibit: “Memories of Madisontown,” work of artist Jerry Jones.

• 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13 — “Telling Our Own Story,” in the published word, with book signings by authors Jim Hall, who wrote The Last Lynching in Northern Virginia, and Jesse Holland, who wrote The Invisibles.

• 1 p.m. Saturday, June 10 — “Telling our Own Story: Celebrating 20 years in The Plains,” with speaker Audrey Davis, president of Virginia Africana Associates LLC and director of the Alexandria Black History Museum.

• 1 p.m. Saturday, July 8 — “Telling our Own Story: Civil Rights,” with speaker Justin G. Reid, director of African American Programs at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and recent director of education and public program at the Moton National Historic Landmark & Museum in his hometown of Farmville.

• 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12 — “Telling our Own Story: Slavery, Resistance and Freedom.”

• 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 — “Telling our Own Story: Religion and Education,” with Rev. Robert Jones, pastor of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Calverton and Educator, and Charles Wesley Lewis of Fauquier High School.

• 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 — “The Green Book,” a play presented by The Greater Manassas Society for the Preservation of African American History.

• 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4 — “Telling our own Story: Military Service.”

• 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 — “Telling our Own Story in a Holiday Celebration,” with open house.

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