Learn more about Kent County's Underground Railroad Feb. 15.
Star Hill AME Church and Museum will celebrate Black History Month with an open house Saturday, Feb. 15 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
A special exhibit called “Six Colorful Quilts: A Tribute to Black History,” includes quilts made by students throughout the state. It will be on display until Feb. 19.
Lucreatia Wilson, curator and historian, will speak about the history of Star Hill Church and Museum, once part of a community of freed slaves that played a role in the Underground Railroad. She will talk about slave life, the escape of freedom seekers and the role of abolitionist families. Wilson has been a member of Star Hill AME Church for the past 65 years.
“I love this church more than I love my home,” Wilson said.
She said the museum focuses on what life was like for enslaved and freed African Americans at the time.
“We tell the stories that they may not get in school,” she said, recalling one student who asked her about slaves in Kent County. “We want to know how did they live? Where did they go buy their clothes? Where did they go buy their shoes? What did they eat? Where did they go to church? And where did they go to take a bath?”
Wilson will take the public through a museum tour and show photos of Underground Railroad sites where runaway slaves hid in Star Hill and Camden. “We talk about the hazards that freedom seekers had to go through to reach that elusive freedom and the people that helped them along the way,” Wilson said.
She has dedicated much of her life to teaching others about African American history, especially telling stories from her own experiences. Having grown up in Texas during the Jim Crow era, she remembers packing lunches on the train because African Americans weren’t allowed to eat in the dining car.
“When I was younger, black people couldn’t even ride the airplanes,” she said. “This is the information that I’ve spent 32 years trying to get out to our youth and trying to get out to adults.”
There is a Q&A session after her presentation, and refreshments will follow.
Everything is free. For more, contact Lucreatia Wilson at 302.632.5984 or Lwilson516@gmail.com.