BUCKS COUNTY >> The African American Museum of Bucks County, (AAMBC) will present a special online program on Sunday, December 20 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. featuring "Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders," an award-winning documentary produced by the late social worker and museum benefactor, Joan Sadoff.
The one-hour film tells the stories of several heroic women of the Civil Rights Movement, whose valiant efforts reached from the fields of the Mississippi delta to the floors of the US Congress. The producer’s daughter, Sherry Sadoff Hanck, will introduce the one-hour film, then host a short Q&A and discussion.
"I am thrilled to be hosting this online event," said Hanck. "Once my mother started working for the cause of Civil Rights, she never looked back. Her mission became clear in the early 1990s and her passion for justice took the lead. She, with the full
support and encouragement of my father, Robert L. Sadoff, MD, built bridges and created community; the women in the film became their family and over the years they shared in eachothers' sorrows and joys. The stories told in Sisters' are from a specific historic struggle, but are equally relevant today, connecting our past with our present. I have seen this film 100 times and each singular time, I find meaning and inspiration from these extraordinary women."
Tickets to the fundraising event are $20, and $15 for members. All proceeds will benefit production of the AAMBC’s new virtual programming collection and may be purchased online at: https://infoaambc.org/events/
Rising from several converging crises in 2020, the antiracism and social justice movements in the US have generated an urgent need to learn and talk about hard topics such as prejudice, bias and inequality. Individuals and organizations in this predominantly white county have asked the AAMBC for help in creating space for those conversations with its programs that both educate and engage. The task facing the AAMBC is to deliver programming during a pandemic that has severely restricted in-person visits and confined both school and work to the home.
With this in mind, The AAMBC is creating a virtual programming collection for both the county's educational system and the greater Bucks County adult community.
The video series, “Untold Stories and Hidden Figures in Bucks County,” uncovers stories of African American struggles and triumphs that took place right here in Bucks over the course of more than three centuries. History, as it is represented in textbooks and classrooms, often neglects to tell these types of locally-specific stories which encompass the arrival of the first slave ships into Bristol Harbor in 1681, the 15 stops along the Underground Railroad from Langhorne to Quakertown, the tireless pursuit of historians to chronicle lives of civil rights heroines in the 1960s, and much more, leading to the present day.
Each video features researched accounts from historians. While most heroes are African Americans, they also include people of multiple races, creeds, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Local residents also comment on-camera how these unearthed histories alter their perceptions of past, present and future, and what these accounts mean for their communities and families.
The videos, which will be primarily shot on-location throughout the county, will instill a sense of community pride and attest to a shared common heritage.
"These events took place where we live and these people walked where we walk," said organizers. "Bridging the past with the present helps us to understand the struggles, hardships and inequalities endured by African Americans and recognize their achievements and contributions to Bucks County."
The AAMBC will work with a team of educators and local stakeholders to incorporate the new video series into school curricula, and to share it with various community groups, faith congregations, and nonprofits across a variety of online platforms. The public can view the first video, “The Slate HillLegacy” at: https://infoaambc.org/virtual-education-program/
The video features Lower Makefield historian, Dr. Helen Heinz, telling the untold personal stories of African American Civil War soldiers whose remains were buried in unmarked graves in Lower Makefield Township. The film also includes interviews with African American veterans and young residents shot on location at a special dedication ceremony that was held at Slate Hill Cemetery on September 26. The event, organized by the local VFW Post 6393, honored these men with new tombstones provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The production of this video was made possible by the generous support of the Lower Makefield Township Historical Commission and Remington and Vernick Engineers.
Additional opportunities to support the museum (beyond attending the Standing on my Sisters’ Shoulders event) are available. Visit the AAMBC website https://infoaambc.org/ to learn about becoming a member, volunteer or a supporter of the museum's virtual program offerings. The AAMBC depends on support from the Bucks County community to bring educational programs and exhibits featuring the rich and often unknown history of African Americans in Bucks County to local schools, libraries, cultural organizations, faith congregations, seniors and families. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.
The AAMBC is a nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible. For more information about the event or the AAMBC virtual programming collection, contact LSalley@aambc.org or call: 215-752-1909