Celebrating the Impact of “African American Connecticut Explored”


New Haven Museum will join with Connecticut Explored magazine to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of African American Connecticut Explored,— the first collection, comprising 50 essays by 30 scholars, to delve into the many facets of African-descended people in Connecticut—during a panel discussion at the New Haven Museum on Thursday, February 1, 2024, (Snow date Feb. 8, 2023) at 6:00 p.m., followed by a reception. Register here. The free event will also stream on FB Live.

African American Connecticut Explored documents an array of subjects—including Black governors of Connecticut, prominent Black abolitionists, the 29th Regiment of Colored Volunteers in the Civil War and even baseball great Jackie Robinson. The ground-breaking book won a Connecticut League of History Organizations Award of Merit in 2014 and is currently featured in the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History’s “Connecticut’s Bookshelf” exhibit and is used in schools all over Connecticut.

The distinguished panel will discuss the effects of the publication on current scholarship in Connecticut, and how the study of African American history in Connecticut has changed and grown since the book first appeared. Dr. Frank Mitchell will moderate the panel following remarks by Elizabeth Normen. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.


Elizabeth Normen is the Founding Publisher, Emeritus, of Connecticut Explored, Inc. and the editor of African American Connecticut Explored.

Dr. Frank Mitchell is a cultural organizer in visual arts and public humanities. He is The Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s Curator at Large and Curatorial Adviser for the Toni N. and Wendell C. Harp Historical Museum at New Haven’s Dixwell Q House.

Dr. Camesha Scruggs is an assistant professor of history at Central Connecticut State University.

Dr. Fiona Vernal is the Director of Engaged, Public, Oral, and Community Histories (EPOCH) and Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Yohuru Williams is Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History and Founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas.

Dr. Brittney Yancy is Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies at Illinois College.

The event is part of NH250, an ongoing series of programming developed by NHM to complement “America 250.” Culminating with the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the series highlights inclusive, local, and lesser-known stories, connecting past and present.

About Connecticut Explored

Connecticut Explored and the Grating the Nutmeg podcast are where readers and listeners encounter the fascinating, often untold, stories of our state’s people, places, and events.Connecticut Explored partners with Connecticut’s premier history, arts, and educational organizations to create content and collaborative programming to discuss and debate: “What happened here?” Through compelling stories and intriguing images, Connecticut Explored explores the whole of the Connecticut story with the aim of revealing connections between our past, present, and future.

About the New Haven Museum

The New Haven Museum has been collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven since its inception as the New Haven Colony Historical Society in 1862. Located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue, the Museum brings more than 375 years of New Haven history to life through its collections, exhibitions, programs and outreach. As aBlue Star Museum, the New Haven Museum offers the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, free admission all year. For more information visit http://newhavenmuseum.org  or @NewHavenMuseum or call 203-562-4183.

Margaret Anne Tockarshewsky, Executive Director, New Haven Museum

203-562-4183, ext. 120, matockarshewsky@newhavenmuseum.org

Julie Winkel, Media Specialist,

203-815-0800, jwinkel@live.com


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