Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Bench by the Road Project

    
Delaware Historical Marker

      The Bench by the Road project is a wonderful project that plays an important role in remembering the lives of enslaved Africans.  Benches are placed in locations throughout the world that hold historical significance of African-Americans. This project is the initiative of the Toni Morrison Society; so far they have placed 12 benches.  As of last week, Friday the 17th of April another bench was dedicated here in Middletown, Delaware in front of the Middletown High School. 
The celebration started in the auditorium of the school with opening remarks, chorus of Lift Every Voice & Sing (Negro National Anthem), invocation, presentation on the history of The Bench by the Road project and one of my favorite was the poem by Langston Hughes, read by Rev. Patricia Walker, pictured below "I Am the Negro Mother".  Upon completion of the ceremony that took place inside we then gathered outside of the auditorium and walked outside of the building for the unveiling of the benches and historical marker. Leading the way were the Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware. 

                    Rev. Patricia Walker                     Singing and Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware


                
                                    A BENCH BY THE ROAD                              A BENCH BY THE ROAD
                                                        PLACED BY                                                    PLACED BY
                                  APPOQUINIMINK FRIENDS MEETING             MIDDLETOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
                                                      APRIL 17, 2015                                              APRIL 17, 2015

 Curious about the other bench locations and when they were placed, maybe this might help.  
·         Sullivan’s Island, S.C. placed on 26th July 2008
·         Oberlin, Ohio placed on 23rd April 2009
·         Hattiesburg, Miss placed on 3rd October 2009
·         Paris, France placed on 6th November 2010
·         Concord, Mass. placed on 21st May 2011
·         George Washington University placed on 23rd September 2011
·         First Congregational Church, UCC, Atlanta, GA placed on 27th May 2012
·         Lincoln, Mass placed in September 2012
·         Mitchelville, SC placed in October 2012
·         Fort-de-France, Martinique placed in June 2013
·         Eden Cemetery, Collingdale, PA placed in April 2014