A Dream Deferred Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion
Thursday, June 07, 2018  6:00 PM
Mitchell Center for African American Heritage - Wilmington


Join the Delaware Historical Society, Delaware Humanities, and the Delaware Art Museum for a screening of the documentary A Dream Deferred: Remembering the 1968 Occupation of the National Guard in Wilmington.  This 40-minute film, originally produced by Teleduction, Inc. in 2007, presents an oral history of this momentous chapter in Delaware history, from the perspective of political leaders in Wilmington, including Joseph Johnson, James Sills, Harry Haskell, Russell Peterson, Littleton Mitchell, Leonard Williams and Lloyd Casson.  Historical footage illustrates the impact of events from the national, such as the March on Washington, to the local, including campus protests at Delaware State University. In the wake of Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968, activists broke with the principles of non-violent resistance to proclaim the need for Black nationalism and protest the lack of change in their daily lives.

A Drean Deffered



“When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, racial tensions in the United States came to a boiling point.  Violence erupted throughout the nation, including Wilmington, Delaware.  When the National Guard was called in to restore calm, the citizens of Wilmington only expected them to stay for a few days.  Months later, armed guards still patrolled the streets. 

“Experience this unique chapter of Delaware history through the oral histories of some of the Civil Rights leaders who were there.  The story continues with interviews of young people who are living in a nation that still struggles to achieve the freedoms promised in the words of the Constitution, and Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of racial justice and equality.”  (Taken from the DVD sleeve)

Photo by  Frank Fahey





Following the documentary, a discussion will be held with a panel of individuals who experienced the civil unrest.  Their conversation will bring the events of 1968 into the present as we discuss the current state of race relations in Wilmington and in the United States.

The panel will be moderated by Simone Austin, the Delaware Art Museum’s 2017 Alfred Appel Jr. Curatorial Fellow and M.A. History Graduate Student at the University of Delaware, whose research on this period provides additional context and perspective.

Registration is requested; click here to register.

FREE PARKING is available courtesy of Colonial Parking on the corner of 6th and Shipley Streets.

Co-sponsored by

Delaware Historical Society


Delaware Art Museum

Delaware Humanities Forum



Mitchell Center for African American Heritage
504 N. Market Street


Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage was named in honor of two Delawareans who worked tirelessly for civil rights for the disenfranchised. The Mitchell Center collects, preserves and presents for public enrichment the history and heritage of Delaware's African Americans. Using historical objects, museum exhibitions, education programs and research, the Mitchell Center is Delaware's first central repository dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the state's African American history, heritage and culture.

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The Delaware Historical Society is the statewide, non-profit organization that explores, preserves, shares, and promotes Delaware history, heritage, and culture to strengthen our community.