Hildene offers engaging opportunities for Black History Month

Published: Feb. 12, 2023 at 9:19 AM EST
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MANCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - February is Black History Month and a Manchester museum is offering a unique opportunity to celebrate.

Hildene was home to President Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert, who presided over the Pullman Rail Company. The museum boasts a fully restored 1903 Pullman rail car on display for visitors to learn about the role that Black Pullman porters played in American history.

Exhibits Manager Jesse Keel says the Black Pullman porters were hugely significant in the development of the Black middle class, as well as the labor and civil rights movements. She says their goal with the exhibit is to encourage guests to engage in critical discourse.

“All of this programming is not just something we do in February but something we try to really be aware of all year round,” Keel said. “It’s very central to our mission to educate and inspire others to encourage civil civic discourse, but also the preservation of this nation’s history in a context that’s not just limited to Vermont or Hildene as a place, but to Hildene as a wider idea as part of the Lincoln legacy.”

Hildene is the southernmost stop on Vermont’s African-American Heritage Trail.

They’re offering events throughout February to honor Black History Month.