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Sylvester Manor celebrates black history

COURTESY PHOTO | Stone marker commemorating Sylvester Manor’s Burying Ground.

COURTESY PHOTO | Stone marker commemorating Sylvester Manor’s Burying Ground.

In honor of Black History Month, Sylvester Manor Educational Farm and Sag Harbor’s Eastville Community Historical Society will present “How Is the Story Told? An Observance of East End African-American Burying Grounds” on Sunday, February 21, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

The symposium will be a multi-media program exploring the African diaspora from numerous perspectives, bringing together educators, archaeologists, preservationists and artists to talk about cultural adaptation and resilience throughout African-American history.

“Last year’s ‘Burying Ground Remembrance’ that we did in conjunction with the Presbyterian Church and the library attracted such a diverse audience and was so well-received, it bordered on the magical,” said Sara Gordon, who handles conservation and planning for the Manor. “From the African and Native American drumming, to the songs, poetry and powerful visual images of the Manor’s Burying Ground, it was a compelling way to tell a story that is gradually getting more attention on the East End, where there was a large population of enslaved peoples laid to rest across our towns, whose stories have been little told.”

Panelist include Stephen Mrozowski, founding director of the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston; Georgette Grier-Key, executive director of the Eastville Community Historical Society; Sandra Arnold, founder of the Periwinkle Initiative, Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans at Fordham University; Zachary Cohen, East Hampton Town Nature Preserve Committee chair; and Zach Studenroth, Southampton town historian.

The moderator will be Karl Grossman, Reporter columnist and professor of journalism, SUNY at Old Westbury.

A pop-up exhibition will also be on display in the Bay Street Theater lobby, including historical articles and artifacts from both the Sylvester Manor and Eastville collections.

Doors to the exhibition open at 2 p.m.; the panel begins at 3 p.m. and is followed by a reception with a cash bar.

Advance tickets are available at  sylvestermanor.org. The cost is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and veterans.

Tickets at the door are $20 for everyone.

For more information call Sylvester Manor at 749-0626.

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