The history of Martin Delaney, a leader of the anti-slavery movement and superintendent of the Underground Railroad, will be brought to life at New River Community and Technical College campuses this month.
In recognition of Black History Month, the College will host the History Alive! program sponsored by the West Virginia Humanities Council. History Alive! features scholars from around the state who portray historical figures.
Martin Delaney (1812-1885) was born in Charles Town, WV. He moved to Pennsylvania as a child with his family when his mother was threatened with imprisonment for allowing her children to learn to read and write. He became a leader in the anti-slavery movement and a superintendent of the Underground Railroad. He co-edited an abolitionist newspaper with Frederick Douglass and attended Harvard Medical College.
During the Civil War, Delany was a recruiter for the U.S. Colored Troops, and in 1865 became the first black field officer when he was commissioned a major. Delany is portrayed by Joseph Bundy of Bluefield.
History Alive! with Martin Delaney will be held at the following times and locations:
• Greenbrier Valley Campus, 101 Church Street, Lewisburg, at noon on Feb. 23 in the Hollowell Auditorium;
• Raleigh County Campus, 280 University Drive, Beaver, at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the Rotunda area;
• Nicholas County Campus, 6101 Webster Road, Summersville, at noon on Feb. 24 in the Commons area; and
• Mercer County Campus, 1001 Mercer Street, Princeton, at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 in Room M119.
History Alive! presentations have three parts: a monologue, in which the character introduces the historical, social and political issues that influenced their life; a discussion in which the character initiates conversations with the audience; and finally, the presenter “breaks character” to answer questions from the audience about themselves as a scholar and researcher.
The events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Wanda Johnson, program coordinator, at 304-647-6710 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New River Community and Technical College serves nine counties in southeastern West Virginia from the Greenbrier Valley Campus (Lewisburg), Mercer County Campus (Princeton), Nicholas County Campus (Summersville), and Raleigh County Campus (Beaver/Beckley).