Delaware: One State, Many Stories
Delaware: One State, Many Stories, is a comprehensive exhibition presented in a complementary dual format. Discover Delaware introduces a general overview of the state’s history from the 1600s to the present. Journey to Freedom features the history of African Americans from the first known African brought to Delaware by the Swedes in the 1600s called “Black Anthony,” to Delaware Poets Laureate, brothers Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Al Mills.
The exhibition explores the complexity of geography and community that has shaped Delaware over hundreds of years. For example, Delaware is northern and southern, agricultural, and industrial, rural and urban—a slave state and a key stop on the Underground Railroad. Delaware is host to events as venerable as the August Quarterly and different as Point-to-Point and Punkin Chunkin’. It is indeed one state with many stories. The exhibitions’ rich collection of objects, photographs, paintings, and documents present familiar history and aspects of Delaware’s past that are less well known, but no less important or intriguing.
With an overarching theme of “Delaware: One State, Many Stories,” Discover Delaware introduces the state’s history through a number of important topics. Delaware’s immigrant history, its maritime heritage, deep roots in agriculture, Wilmington’s evolution from an industrial hub to a financial center, its role on the warfront and at home, and the many cultural and artistic contributions envelope visitors in First State history.
Journey to Freedom
From the first Swedish ship that brought the earliest known man of African descent to the shores of Delaware, Antoni Schwartz, to the 1968 protests in Wilmington and the creative expressions of the present, Journey to Freedom considers the many paths African Americans take toward liberation. Using interactive displays and multimedia technology, Journey to Freedom captures the intricate stories of community, struggle, courage, sorrow, celebration, injustice, and resilience of African Americans in Delaware.
The Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage is based in the Delaware History Museum.