Fairfield Museum After Dark: The Black Panthers from National to Local

The public is invited to visit the “Museum After Dark” on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m., for a presentation about the legacy of the Black Panther party. The Fairfield Museum will host Dr. Yohuru Williams of Fairfield University and special guest Craig Kelly, former president of the NAACP in Bridgeport and member of the Black Panther party in New York. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. and the featured event will start at 6:45. This program is held in conjunction with the Museum’s newest exhibition, Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: Fairfield in the 1960s and 1970s.

Dr. Yohuru Williams

Dr. Yohuru Williams

Dr. Williams will lead a presentation on the Black Panther party, providing a broad analysis of the Party and its legacy. He will provide examples of the local chapters, including Connecticut, New England and New York City, and how the party chapters related to national scene, but also reflected their own community. Learn how New Haven became a pivotal point in the challenges between the different perspectives, from political nuances to militant philosophy.

Described in Diverse Issues in Higher Education as “one of the most exciting scholars of his generation,” Dr. Williams is the History Department Chair and the Director of Black Studies at Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. He is the author of Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights, Black Power, the Black Panthers in New Haven and editor of Liberated Territory: Untold Local Perspectives on the Black Panther Party. He is also Chief Historian for the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Museum in New York, NY. He received his Ph.D. from Howard University in 1998.

Following the presentation, Dr. Williams will lead a discussion with guest Craig Kelly, former president of the NAACP in Bridgeport and member of the Black Panther Party in New York. Kelly, a lifelong resident of the Bridgeport, received a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Bridgeport. He has provided counseling services for the Inner City Violence Prevention Association, Inc., families of African American firefighters who died on 9/11, South African AIDS victims, and the Katrina Assistance Project. He retired from the Bridgeport Fire Department as a Lieutenant in 2004 and served as president of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP from 2007-2009. He is a member of Mt. Aery Baptist Church in Bridgeport.

The reception and presentation are for members, with a $5 suggested donation for nonmembers. For more information or to learn about the new exhibition visit Fairfieldhistory.org. Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: Fairfield in the 1960s & 1970s runs through Sept. 17.

The Fairfield Museum is located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield. For more information or to register for programs visit Fairfieldhistory.org or call 203-259-1598. The Museum and Museum Shop are open 10-4, daily. Admission is free for members and children ages 5 and under; $5 for adults; $3 for seniors/students.

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