This month, Newport celebrates the history, heritage and diversity of the Black community with special virtual events, lectures and walking tours throughout The Classic Coast.
INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME VIRTUAL EVENTS
BREAKING THE BARRIERS
Breaking The Barriers: The ATA and Black Tennis Pioneers features a multimedia timeline spanning more than 120 years of Black tennis history, as well as a concurrent timeline of African American history overall. The exhibit chronicles the struggles and evolution of Black tennis, and the lives and careers of Black tennis champions from the early 1900s through today.
Breaking The Barriers is largely focused on the history of Black tennis in America, and it is part of a multi-faceted initiative by the International Tennis Hall of Fame to educate fans and shine a spotlight on Black tennis history.
When: January 19 - February 28
BLACK TENNIS HISTORY IN RHODE ISLAND
Despite tennis’s emphasis on singular achievement, black tennis occupied an important social and cultural space in building African American communities in Newport and Providence in the early 1900s.
Black tennis clubs, along with fraternal and civic organizations, encouraged participation and arranged tournaments that reflected the politics of respectability, but also strengthened racial identity, fortified community, and showcased an innovative form of cultural and artistic expression.
The program will spotlight the Old Hometown Tennis and Athletic Club, which was established in Newport in 1927 by leaders associated with all four African heritage churches, the Newport NAACP, and other civic associations.
When: Wednesday, February 17, 7:00 PM
ALTHEA GIBSON & THE HISTORY OF TENNIS AT THE SMITHSONIAN'S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE
This talk will explore the gender and racial dynamics of tennis as told through the life story of Hall of Famer Althea Gibson, who broke tennis’ color barrier when she became the first African-American to compete at the U.S. National Championships. Gibson went on to win titles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Nationals, and the French Nationals and be ranked world No.1. The program will highlight the resulting cultural impact of her accomplishment and of integration in tennis.
Moderated by Katrina Adams, immediate past President, Chairperson, and CEO of the United States Tennis Association.
When: Wednesday, February 24, 7:00 PM
WALKING TOUR: CREATIVE SURVIVAL
Discover the early history of Newport’s people of color, enslaved and free on the Creative Survival walking tour. Explore the places where enslaved people lived and labored, along with locations where free African-Americans built their enterprises and supported a new local industry.
Where: Departs from the Newport Colony House
When: Saturday, February 6, 1:00 - 2:00 PM
Admission: $15 per person, $10 for Newport Historical Society members and active duty military.
LECTURE: CAPTAIN PAUL CUFFE: HIS WORK, VISION AND LIVING LEGACY
The Newport Historical Society is pleased to host Dr. Akeia de Barros Gomes for a free virtual lecture Captain Paul Cuffe: His Work, Vision and Living Legacy.
An incident in Newport Harbor in 1812 led to the first formal meeting between a person of color and a sitting United States President. When Captain Paul Cuffe had his ship and cargo seized in Newport, he was the wealthiest person of color at the time. He was an entrepreneur, a Master Mariner and whaler, a voting rights activist for both African American men and Native American men, an abolitionist, a philanthropist, a visionary, and an educator.
Host: Newport Historical Society
When: Wednesday, February 10, 5:00 - 6:00 PM
LECTURE: JULIAN ABELE: ARCHITECT AND THE BEAUX ARTS
Julian Abele was one of the first African-American architects to be accredited. Despite racial segregation at the beginning of the 20th century, Abele received his architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania and designed more than 200 buildings throughout his career, including the Widener Memorial Library at Harvard University and the Philadelphia Free Library. He is also credited with designing the Sunken Garden at The Elms.
Host: The Preservation Society of Newport County
When: Thursday, February 25, 5:30 PM
LINDEN PLACE MANSION VIRTUAL LECTURES
AFRICAN-AMERICAN ART OF THE 20TH CENTURY
In celebration of Black History Month, Linden Place Mansion is hosting a series of talks, held virtually, highlighting African-American art and artists of the 20th Century. These timely talks will highlight the lives and works of some of the most influential African-American artists.
Explore a wide assortment of art media and address themes of identity, experience, culture, racism, civil rights, and more. The talks will be broken up into three weekly sessions:
- February 22: Jacob Lawrence and Horace Pippen; Rural and Urban Life and the Great Migration Week
- March 1: Charles White & Elizabeth Catlett; Portraits in Drawing, Printing and Sculpture Week
- March 8: Romaire Bearden & Basquiat; From Jazz to Hip Hop, Musical Influences
*All events take place 4:00 - 5:15 PM
HISTORY OF THE BRISTOL SLAVE TRADE
Featured in the PBS documentary film “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North,” the DeWolf family in the 18th and early 19th centuries were once one of the largest and wealthiest slave traders in New England. The presentation, given by longtime docent Phyllis Thibault, will focus on the slave trade in-depth, centered around Bristol and Rhode Island’s lengthy and complex involvement. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Pre-registration is required.
When: Wednesday, February 24, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
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