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Attend Emancipation Day Celebration at Hill Center

From April 12 to Sunday April 15, the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave SE) will host its Fourth Annual Benjamin Drummond Emancipation Day Celebration.

In 1864, Abraham Lincoln commissioned a Civil War Naval Hospital near the Marine Barracks on Capitol Hill. The Old Naval Hospital opened its doors in 1866 and Benjamin Drummond, an African American seaman, was the hospital’s first patient. The series is named in his honor.

The Benjamin Drummond Emancipation Day Celebration commemorates the end of slavery in the nation’s capital with four days of celebratory and scholarly programs. These free and public events will bring together a diverse group of prominent scholars, artists, and public figures for programming that will engage attendees in a deeper understanding of the African American experience, prior to, during, and post-Civil War.

Events by date include:

Thursday, April 12

The 14th Amendment: Americans and the Meaning of Citizenship. Panel discussion with Dean Danielle Holley-Walker and Professor Garrett Epps and moderated by Marcia Davis, Washington Post Magazine Editor and Writer.

Friday, April 13

African American Women: A History of Sexual Violence and Trauma. An examination of the long history of sexual violence and trauma experienced by African American women and girls in a moderated conversation with Drs. Nikki Taylor and Jeanne Theoharis that will be framed by the 1998 film Beloved and the stories of Recy Taylor and Rosa Parks.

Saturday, April 14

Mapping Segregation: A Walking Tour. Historian Sarah Shoenfeld will lead a walking tour of the Bloomingdale neighborhood, featuring houses and block subject to a series of court battles in the 1940s that challenged deed covenants restricting African-Americans from living in the neighborhood.

Tragedy, Turbulence, Transition and Transformation: Remembering 1968 Washington DC. A moderated conversation with Dr. Marya McQuirter and Dr. G. Derek Musgrove examining the Districts social and political landscape, illuminating personal narratives of black Washingtonians and contextualizing the riots that engulfed parts of the city and considering the impact of these events on the nation’s capital fifty years later.

Sunday, April 15

Documentary Film Screening: The Rape of Recy Taylor. The film tells the story of 24-year-old Recy Taylor, a mother and sharecropper who was raped by six white men while on her way home from church in 1944 Alabama. In a time when it was rare, Taylor identified her rapists and the NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks who triggered an outcry for justice.

Closing Concert: Carolyn Malachi. Grammy nominee, singer-songwriter and lifelong Washingtonian, Carolyn Malachi is infludenced by soul, jazz, blues and Go-Go as well as R&B. She was nominated for a Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for her album Lions, Fires and Squares (2011). Note that this event takes place at Historic Christ Church on Capitol Hill (620 G Street SE).

For more information on each event and the participants, please visit the Hill Center’s online schedule.

Participants should register for each event online on the page for each event, or by calling 202-549-4172. There is a limit of two tickets for each event. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Doors open thirty minutes prior to start of event, and unoccupied seats will be released fifteen minutes prior to the start of program.

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