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Special Gallery Talk – Union County – Black Soldiers and Sailors in the Civil War

February 16th, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Westfield Historical Society – Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center

314 Mountain Avenue Westfield, NJ


In celebration of Black History month and the nation's commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, The Westfield Historical Society will be hosting an exhibit presented by Ethel M. Washington entitled “Union County - Black Soldiers and Sailors in the Civil War”. On Saturday, February 16 at 1:00 PM an introductory gallery talk will be given by Ms. Washington to kick off the exhibit which will run through March 2013.  


April 12, 2011 marked the beginning of the nation's four year (2011-2015) commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the Emancipation of enslaved Americans.  The exhibit will showcase people of African American descent (Blacks and Mulatttos) from the "West Fields" and surrounding Union county who were actively engaged in the Civil War and the fight for their freedom. On display are portraits of Union County Black and Mulatto soldiers and sailors that enlisted in the regiments of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), as well as in white regiments raised in Union County.


Ms. Washington has spent most of her career in various cultural institutions, including the Newark Museum, Montclair Art Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt, as well as the National Design Museum, and Smithsonian Institution in New York City. Ethel served for many years as commissioner on the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission. She was involved in a one-year oral history project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in order to get oral histories from 1,750 African-American families which have since been archived in the Library of Congress. She is a trustee on several boards including founding Vice Chair of the New Jersey African-American Cultural Heritage Foundation, The Old First Historic Trust Board- First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, The New Jersey State Historical Records Advisory Board, and the Advocates for New Jersey History Board. Ethel currently serves as History Programs Coordinator, Union County Office of Cultural Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks and Community Renewal.


The Westfield Historical Society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and encourage interest in history, Westfield and its residents through educational efforts and community outreach programs. The Reeve house serves as the organization's headquarters, museum, and history and cultural center.


Space is limited for the gallery talk and early reservations are encouraged. For more information on this program or for reservations, please contact the Westfield Historical Society at 908-654-1794. For more information about the Westfield Historical Society or to join via credit card, please visit our website at www.westfieldhistoricalsociety.org and click on the membership link at the bottom of the page.


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