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Black History Film Screening and Community Discussion

Music to Our Ears: The Sounds of the African American Experience at Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches Film and Discussion
What:              Annapolis Maritime Museum Winter Seminar Series
When:              Thursday, February 3     
Time:               7 – 8:30 p.m.
Where:            Annapolis Maritime Museum  723 Second Street  Annapolis, MD 21403
Contact:          410-295-0104 / www.amaritime.org

Annapolis Maritime Museum, in partnership with the Banneker-Douglass Museum, Anne Arundel County Public Schools and the Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation, will host a film screening and community discussion on the history of Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches on Thursday, February 3, 2011 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Maritime Museum. The documentary is the result of a semester-long effort by students to learn about Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches through research and conducting oral history interviews with community members. The general public is invited to attend the program and to take part in a post-film screening discussion on the legacy of the Annapolis landmark.

The Music to Our Ears documentary film is a collaborative effort between the, Banneker-Douglass Museum, and Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation. During the Spring 2010 semester, students in the Annapolis High School African American History Class researched the history of both beaches and the individuals involved in their success. Students studied images from the beaches and visited the area once occupied by Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches. Their research led up to oral history interviews with Annapolis community members with connections to Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches. Students interviewed George Phelps (head of security at the beaches), Larry Griffin (Carr’s Beach musician and Carr’s Beach reunion organizer), and Leslie Stanton (Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches attendee). The student-led interviews were compiled and edited to create the Music to Our Ears documentary film. Terry Poisson, Coordinator of Social Studies for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, who was instrumental in getting the project started, will be on hand to facilitate discussion, along with Leslie Stanton and Larry Griffin.

Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beaches, located on the Annapolis Neck Peninsula, served as popular entertainment venues for African Americans throughout the Eastern seaboard from 1929 through 1980. The beaches offered recreation and entertainment options for African Americans during segregation. Sparrow’s Beach hosted family and church groups while Carr’s Beach provided more lively entertainment including weekly Sunday afternoon concerts featuring the biggest performers of the day. Musicians including Chuck Berry, James Brown, Fats Domino, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Sarah Vaughan, and Stevie Wonder attracted audiences from locations throughout the East Coast every weekend.

The program will begin with a brief concert by the Eastport Drum & Bugle Corps. Enrollment fees are $10 per seminar for Museum members, $15 per seminar for non-members. To enroll, call the Museum at 410-295-0104 or log on to www.amaritime.org.

Upcoming seminars:

Thursday, February 10

Stephan Abel, Oyster Recovery Efforts on the Chesapeake Bay

Thursday, February 17

Susan B. Langley, Star-Spangled Archaeology, Commemorating the War of 1812 through Maritime Archaeology

Thursday, February 24

Don Parks, Chesapeake Splendor

Thursday, March 3

Jennifer Bodine, Photographs of the Chesapeake: the Art of A. Aubrey Bodine

Thursday, March 10

Richard Schwartz, Hurricanes of the Middle Atlantic States

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