Black History Month and the Civil War Sesquicentennial coincide in February, leading to programs designed to celebrate African American participation and influence on the story of the war including lectures, panel discussions, drama and music programs.

On Feb. 9, the Penn Center at St. Helena Island, S.C., has scheduled an evening of free lectures, including topics such as the state’s ordinance of secession, the causes of the war, slavery in South Carolina and the Port Royal experience.

Two days later, the National Park Service is offering a free discussion on the life of abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass at his home in Washington, D.C., as well as period music.

On Feb. 15, the United States Capitol Historical Society has planned a free talk on abolitionist and politician John Willis Menard by George Mason University professor Philip W. Magnus and House of Representatives historian Matthew Wasniewski.

On Feb, 21, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and the Jefferson County Board of Education will present a free panel discussion on John Brown’s raid led by Tony Horwitz, author of the recent book on Brown, “Midnight Rising,” at Harpers Ferry Middle School. Other panelists include Dennis Frye, park chief historian and John Rudy, adjunct professor at Gettysburg College.

On Feb. 25, “Tales of Kent County Men of Color,” will be dramatized in a free program sponsored by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs at the Old Court House in New Castle.

On Feb. 13, Ford’s Theatre has scheduled “Traveling Through Music and History,” a free program of African American choir music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement and several story tellers narrating moments in black history.

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