This event has been postponed. Please watch this space for the new date.
Friends of the Derby Public Library will host “Children of the Promised Land,” a presentation and discussion by Angela Bates at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 10 in the library Community Room. All members of the community are invited to attend the free program, which is made possible by Humanities Kansas.
Nicodemus, a small, unincorporated town in Graham County, is the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the Civil War. Today the town is a National Historic Site. This pictorial history explores the unique experience of mothers and their children in Nicodemus, some of whom were the first members of their families born free.
Angela Bates is the executive director of the Nicodemus Historical Society. She presents educational programs across the nation covering Nicodemus, Exodusters and black towns in the West, Buffalo Soldiers, and black women in the West.
“My great uncle, Henry Williams, was the first baby born in Nicodemus just a month after my great-grandmother Emma arrived with the first group of settlers in 1877,” said Bates. “He was one of the first in his generation born on the free soils of Kansas. He represents the many children of his generation that were reared by parents who were former slaves.”
“Children of the Promised Land” is part of Humanities Kansas's Crossroads Conversations Catalog, featuring presentations, discussions, and workshops designed to spark conversations in the Sunflower State.
This program is part of the Crossroads: Change in Rural America initiative anchored by the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition of the same name. Crossroads promotes fresh thinking about the history, culture, and future of Kansas.
New date to be determined
A brief business meeting will precede the presentation.