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Winter Lyceum: “Black History: The Legacy of Slavery and Freedom in Wisconsin”

Winter Lyceum: “Black History: The Legacy of Slavery and Freedom in Wisconsin”

Clayborn Benson, Dr. Eugene Tesdahl, and Wilbur Arms present:“Black History: The Legacy of Slavery and Freedom in Wisconsin.”

This presentation is co-hosted with the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum.

Clayborn Benson is a photographer, historian, military veteran, and founder of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum. While working at WTMJ-TV Benson enrolled in MATC’s photography training program and, from there, he went to Fort Monmouth, NJ to military photography school. Ultimately, Benson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in film from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, while working full-time at WTMJ. Toward the end of his studies at UW-Milwaukee, Benson applied for and received a grant that enabled him to produce a documentary called Black Communities, a three-part film on black housing, migration, settlements and trade skills in the United States, Wisconsin and Milwaukee. The award-winning film has been shown on NBC affiliate WTMJ-TV, on public television throughout the state and is available through the Milwaukee Public Schools. It was during the production of this documentary that Benson realized that the history and heritage of African American people in Wisconsin was widely scattered and poorly preserved. This realization became the catalyst for him founding a museum to preserve and maintain the culture of African American Wisconsinites and the Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum (WBHS/M) became a reality.

Dr. Eugene Tesdahl serves as associate professor of history at UW-Platteville, where he has taught since 2014. He teaches courses on early America, Native American history, women’s history, and public history. He has published articles on illegal chattel slavery in Wisconsin, Haudenosaunee cosmology and history, and new directions in museum interpretation. He is currently completing a book manuscript about eighteenth-century smuggling between New York and New France.

Wilbur Arms has spent decades researching Cheyenne Valley. Mr. Arms traces his lineage back to one of the founding families of this significant African American farming settlement near Hillsboro in Vernon County, Wisconsin. He often speaks about this important chapter of early Wisconsin history. 

February 21, 2021 @ 5:00 pm 6:30 pm

$4 for a single event or $20 for a Season Pass for all 7 Lyceum presentations.
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