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Woods Hole Black History Month Events Showcase African Americans and the Vote

Woods Hole Black History Month events will include a film, several presentations, a student essay contest, and the annual Harambee or ethnic feast with entertainment. All events are free and open to the public.


February 7, 2020

Local events begin on February 7 with a screening of “Selma” at Falmouth Academy’s Simon Center at 7 Highfield Hall in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The PG-13 film chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie begins at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. Eight Cousins Books of Falmouth will offer a book table starting at 8:30 p.m. The film screening is co-sponsored by Falmouth Academy.

February 18, 2020

Rev W. (Will) Mebane, Jr., rector of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Falmouth, Massachusetts. Credit: Mort Tucker Photography

“Hoodwinked, Bamboozled, and Led Astray by Romanticizing the Dream” is the topic of a February 18 presentation by the Rev. Will H. Mebane, Jr., rector of Falmouth’s St. Barnabas Memorial Church. His presentation will take place at noon at the MBL’s Speck Auditorium in Rowe Laboratory, 10 MBL Street, in Woods Hole.;

Reverend Mebane was born in Durham, North Carolina and raised in the AME Zion Church and Baptist Church. Anti-war activities of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship attracted him, and he was later baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina

He received his undergraduate degree in radio, television and motion pictures from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and worked in broadcast positions in several states before founding a management, media and marketing company. Will Mebane produced media for the Special Olympics World Games and managed 50th anniversary celebrations commemorating the entry of Jackie Robinson into Major League Baseball, and helped promote Elton John’s World Tour. Mebane is a founding member and former vice president of the nonprofit organization that built the freedom schooner Amistad.

Later in life Will Mebane decided to join the seminary. He earned a master of divinity degree along with an award of excellence in preaching from Yale University Divinity School. Through the years he has held positions at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio and as interim dean at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo, New York. He has served in numerous community organizations, and recently served as vice chairman of the national executive council for the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and on the national leadership team of the fellowship’s Palestine Israel Network.

Student Essay Contest Deadline February 21, 2010

New this year is a student essay contest on African Americans and the Vote open to students in grades 6-12 in Falmouth and Mashpee public schools. One winner from grades 6-8 and one from grades 9-12 will each receive $100.00. Deadline for entry submission is February 21 at 10 p.m. The contest is sponsored by the Woods Hole Diversity Advisory Committee.

Learn more about the essay contest and how to submit an entry at Woods Hole Black History Month 2020 Essay Contest.

February 24, 2020

Daniel Black, professor of African American studies at Clark Atlanta University. Photo courtesy Daniel Black

Daniel Black, professor of African American Studies at Clark Atlanta University, will be returning to Woods Hole this year. Dr. Black is founder of Ndugu and Nzinga Rites of Passage Nation, a mentoring society for African American youth. He will speak on “Cost of the Vote” on February 24 at noon in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Redfield Auditorium, 45 Water Street, Woods Hole.

An award-winning novelist, Daniel Black has written six books, including “Perfect Peace,” “Listen to the Lambs,” which explores of lives of homeless people, and “The Coming,” a first-hand account of Africans on a slave ship in the 16th century. “Perfect Peace,” about gender and sexuality, has been reprinted more than 10 times and is being heralded as a major American literary classic.

A native of Kansas City, Kansas, he spent his formative years in rural Blackwell, Arkansas and graduated from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), where he earned the prestigious Oxford Modern British Studies fellowship to Oxford University. He was also awarded a full fellowship to Temple University, where he studied with poet laureate of the Black Arts Movement, Sonia Sanchez, and earned his Ph.D. in African American Studies.

February 27, 2020

Group of performers dancing and playing drums
Photo courtesy of Cape God African Dance & Drum

Harambee, an annual ethnic feast celebrating everyone, will take place on February 27 starting at 5:30 p.m. in a new location – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Clark Laboratory 5th floor on the Quissett Campus, 360 Woods Hole Road. Enjoy delicious food, a live performance from Cape Cod African Dance & Drum, music by DJ Lionel Hall of All Cape Sounds, and a live exhibit by Zion Union Heritage Museum's mobile museum. Feel free to bring a potluck dessert to share.

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on 04/26/2022