New sign honoring Underground Railroad unveiled in Portsmouth
A Civil War Trails Underground Railroad interpretive sign unveiled in Portsmouth.
Friday, September 9, 2022, 9 AM at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, 637 North Street in Olde Towne Portsmouth. The date was selected to coincide with the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Month and to recognize the Emanuel A.M.E. Church as a designated stop on the Park Service’s Network to Freedom Trail.
Speakers at the event will include Portsmouth Mayor Shannon E. Glover, Dr. Alexander Benitez, Mae Breckenridge-Haywood, and Pastor Billy Hunter of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
Local entertainers and historic re-enactors portraying Portsmouth natives Jeffrey Wilson, Portsmouth’s first Black journalist, and Robert Irving, a Portsmouth native who escaped along the UGRR, will also be on hand.
The installation follows a year’s worth of hard work from the African American Historical Society of Portsmouth, the City’s Department of Museums and Tourism, and Civil War Trails, Inc. who teamed up to research, write, and review content.
The new sign helps tell the story of the men, women, and children who were escaping the horrors of slavery via the Underground Railroad. It’s part of the multi-state Civil War Trails program which helps visitors from around the world stand in the footsteps of history at over 1,400 sites is promoted internationally by a partnership of state tourism offices, municipal destination marketers, and the sites themselves.
WEDNESDAY, February 21, 2018, 6PM-8PM
Virginia Museums Advocacy Day Reception and Award Ceremony to be held at the Virginia Historical Society
Virginia Museums Advocacy Day Reception to be held at the Virginia Historical Society on Wednesday, February 21st from 6pm-8pm.
SUNDAY, May 28, 2017, at 12 - 5 PM
Frederick Douglass visits the Portsmouth Colored Community
(On the right) Poet/Author Nathan Richardson
portrays slave, abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass. Come
hear his speech "What to the Slave is the
4th of July" ask questions and take a picture with Mr Douglass
(Sponsored by 2017 UMOJA Festival African American
Bus Tours & Young Audiences of Virginia)
September 18, 2016, at 3PM
Dedication program for historical highway marker at Emanuel AME
Church, for George Teamoth and a marker will highlight the Mount
Calvary Cemetery Complex which was established by African Americans
beginning in 1879 on land adjacent to a "potter's field".
The cemetery was enlarged later to create a four-cemetery complex.
The burials include many community leaders, Civil War U.S. Colored
Troops, and veterans of other wars.
Strategic Level Sponsor
December 13, 2014
Gamma Delta Chapter of AKA Sorority presents check to
AAHSP. Mae Breckenridge-Haywood is a member of the Portsmouth
Chapter of GDO.
December 22, 2013
The Portsmouth (Colored) Community Libraries Gala Grand Opening
and it's first exhibit was on December 23, 2013.
Renovation of the Portsmouth Community
February 12, 2010
There will be a prayer walk at the former Portsmouth Community Library
building, 904 Elm Avenue, on Friday, February 12 at 10am, to pray
for the continued success in the building’s renovation. The
event is free and open to the public.
February 9, 2010
“Portsmouth Community Library Reborn” will be presented
by Mae Breckenridge-Haywood, President of the African American Historical
Society of Portsmouth as part of the Portsmouth Public Library’s
Second Tuesday Forum. The event will be held at the Churchland Branch
of the Portsmouth Public Library at noon. The event is free and
open to the public.
The AAHSP, Inc. was awarded a project grant from the Portsmouth
Museums and Fine Arts Commission to index the articles, "Colored
Notes" for the year 1924 written by Jeffrey T. Wilson. The
index is available at the website: http://www.portsmouthpubliclibrary.org.
In addition to the index, photographs, bookmarks, and notecards
are available from the AAHSP for purchase.
Photographs, Bookmarks, and Note Cards 4x6 photos of many
of the people, places, educators, and schools, which are included
in the index. Partial photo listing: Ida Barbour, Jeffrey T. Wilson,
I. C. Norcom, E. W. Riddick, S. H. Clarke, I. C. Norcom High School
(1920), Pinners Point Colored School, I. C. Norcom Faculty (1923),
I. C. Norcom Class, Mrs. O. C. Churchill (1921). Mt. Hermon School
(photo includes children, building, and Professor S. H. Clarke)
1921, George W. Grice (slave owner of Jeffrey T. Wilson), Emanuel
AME Church with the parsonage beside the church.
Cost: $1.50 each
Ida Barbour, Jeffrey T. Wilson, I. C.
Norcom, S. H. Clarke
Cost: $1.50 each
Emanuel AME Church and Parsonage, Bass Drug Store
Cost: $.75 each
Norfolk Foundation awards a grant of $37,827 to AAHSP,
Inc. which funded the mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and some
interior finishes fro the renovation of the Portsmouth Community
December 17, 2009
Portsmouth Community Library was listed on the Virginia Landmark
Sarah Wilson will provide the updated information.
Black History Month Program “Law
and Reason at the Library Door: An Evening with Two Doctors,”
a black history month program and fundraising event for the restoration
of the Portsmouth Community Library, will be hosted by the AAHSP
at I.C. Norcom High School. The program will feature the dramatic
reading of Law and Reason at the Library Door, written by Billie
Montgomery/Cook and performed by the Drama Ministry of Third Baptist
Church, Portsmouth. There will also be a Question and Answer Session
with Drs. Hugo A. Owens and James W. Holley III. Special Awards
will be given to Richard Hartman, City Engineer, and Lawrence “Luke”
McCoy, Former City Manager. Community Service Awards will be presented
to Former Vice Mayor Bernard D. Griffin, Sr., Deputy City Manager
Dr. L. Pettis Patton, Councilman Ray Smith, Sr., Former Councilman
Charles B. Whitehurst, Sr., and Sarah Barrash Wilson. All of these
individuals have played important roles in the saving and restoration
of the Portsmouth Community Library. The event will take place Saturday,
March 1, 2008 at 3:00pm at I.C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact
Mae Breckenridge-Haywood at 487-9431.
Black History Month
Sarah Wilson provides updated information.
October 18, 2007 - 4:00 p.m.
Partners in Restoration |
Park View United Methodist Church
1131 Crawford Parkway, Olde Towne.
Come into the side door on Crawford Parkway.
August 16, 2007
Portsmouth (Colored) Community Library Restoration
Project: The society is working on restoring and moving the library
to a new site in order to develop the library into a museum. The
museum will store various artifacts pertaining to Portsmouth 's
African American culture. If you are interested in making a donation
or otherwise helping the society work toward this worthy event,
please contact Mae Breckenridge-Haywood (757) 487-9431 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jeff Littlejohn, Sam Houston State University, will present
"Direct Action: The Sit-Ins in Tidewater, Virginia."
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Portsmouth Virginia.
Black History Month Program
“Preserving Portsmouth’s African American History: The
Portsmouth Community Library” will feature speakers from the
community sharing historical perspectives on local churches involvement
with the Portsmouth Community Library and the civil rights case
Owens and Holley v. Portsmouth Public Library, and a representative
from Virginia’s Department of Historical Resources discussing
the relevance of historic preservation to the Portsmouth Community
Library. There will also be a dramatic reading of Law and Reason
at the Library Door, written by Billie Montgomery/Cook and performed
by the Drama Ministry of Third Baptist Church, Portsmouth. Community
Service Awards will be presented to Dr. Hugo A. Owens, Dr. James
W. Holley III, Ms. Bertha Edwards, and the Pastors of Monumental
United Methodist Church, St. James Episcopal Church, Fourth Baptist
Church, Portsmouth, and Ebenezer Baptist Church, Portsmouth. All
four of these churches played a role in the history of the Portsmouth
Community Library. The event will take place Saturday, February
24, 2007 at 4:30pm at St. James Episcopal Church, Portsmouth. The
event is free and open to the public. For more information contact
Mae Breckenridge-Haywood at 487-9431.
Black History Month Program
The African American Historical Society of Portsmouth, Blacks in
Government, Twine Memorial Holy Temple, and the I. C. Norcom Alumni
Association, Inc. will sponsor an event at I. C. Norcum High School.
The program will include a forum on the topic of Who freed the slaves?
President Lincoln, the Union Army, or the slaves themselves? Perspectives
from the Hampton Roads area and Virginia will be presented by Dr.
Tommy Bogger, NSU Archivist, Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, NSU
History Department; Dr. Michael Hucles, ODU History Department,
and Major Stanley Semple, Inf. USAR. Cynthia P. Morrison, the first
black female Clerk of Portsmouth Circuit Court, and Judge Johnny
E. Morrison, Third Judicial District Circuit Court of Virginia,
will be honored for their achievements, and a special award will
be presented to shipyard commander Captain Joseph F. Campbell for
the shipyard support of community projects. The event will be held
on Friday, February 24, 2006 at 6:00 pm . The event takes place
at I. C. Norcom High School, London Blvd , Portsmouth , Virginia
. The event is free and open to the public. For more information,
contact Mae Breckenridge-Haywood (757) 487-9431 or email@example.com
Boy Scout Appreciation Banquet: The African American Historical
Society of Portsmouth will sponsor a banquet honoring the former
Gosport District Scouts and Leaders/Volunteers, BSA 1933-1969. The
event will be held on Sunday, October 17, 2004 at 5:00 p.m. The
event takes place at Temple Beth El, 3927 Bridge Road, Suffolk,
Virginia 23435. A donation of $25.00 is requested for each ticket.
For more information, contact Charles B. Whitehurst, Sr. (757) 399-0998
Research on Boy Scouts
in Portsmouth to be published soon.