Greenfield Village’s Celebration of Emancipation, Aug. 4-5


DEARBORN, Mich. – The spirit of freedom will come to life during Greenfield Village’s Celebration of Emancipation, August 4-5 at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich.

Music, drama and fun are featured during this weekend highlighting African-American culture and traditions.

Daily activities will take place throughout the village, centered around authentic buildings where African-Americans lived, celebrated and labored in the 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors will be able to experience the life and trials of enslaved African-Americans as they struggle to live their day-to-day lives of slavery, yet celebrate their triumph over adversity.

Dramatic performances. Several dramatic performances are featured.

“Gullah Tale – Buh Rabbit, One Able Little Man!” The dramatic presentation of a traditional Gullah Tale, it reveals lessons that tell the tale of Buh Rabbit’s trickery taught to the children of the plantation. The presentation, set in 1850, takes place at the Hermitage Slave Houses. Show times are noon, 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m.

“The Idlewild Clubhouse.” Presented in collaboration with the Arts League of Michigan. Explore Michigan’s powerful connection to the Harlem Renaissance, the great social and artistic movement of the 1920s. Travel back to Idlewild Clubhouse, in northwestern Michigan’s Lake County, where visitors will be inspired and entertained by the legacies and luminaries W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Marcus Garvey and others. Experience daily performances that include jazz, poetry and dramatic presentations. Music, drama, and exhibits are available from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Special show times are 11:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

“Voices of freedom.” Inspiring selections are given by actors portraying freedom writers, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas, Ida B. Wells and W.E.B. Du Bois. Performances follow the 2 p.m. parade at Town Hall.

“The Door.” Step back in time and learn what life was like for the slaves on a plantation before Emancipation. This 15-minute dramatic play exhibits plantation life from the point- of-view of a house servant and the mistress of the house. (Show times are 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Other stories. Other stories highlighting the African American spirit:

“The Wizard of Tuskegee.” Born into slavery just before Emancipation, George Washington Carver rose above the color barrier to become a world-renowned agricultural scientist. Learn how he made items such as rubber, ink, paper, and face cream, all from the peanut.

“Elijah: the Real McCoy.” This 15-minute dramatization will introduce you to the fascinating inventor, Elijah McCoy, and how one of his 57 patents got trains into stations ahead of time.

Hands-On Activities. Underground Railroad Treasure Hunt. Follow a trail that led to freedom. Take part in the self-directed treasure hunt and learn about the strategies for surviving the trek north and Michigan’s ties to this flight to freedom. The treasure hunt is available from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.)

Children will discover the hidden meanings cleverly conveyed through uses of everything from beads to shells used by the African-American slaves. Visitors can create and take home a message necklace of their own. Bead necklace making is available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily)

Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village and the IMAX Theatre are located at 20900 Oakwood Boulevard and Village Road in Dearborn, Mich., just west of the Southfield Freeway (M-39), south of Michigan Avenue (U.S. 12) and three miles north of I-94.


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