Restoration and Reunion Exhibit

On View Now…

at Housatonic Museum of Art

900 Lafayette Blvd, Bridgeport, CT 06604

In 1841, W. P. Johnson wrote, “Bridgeport [Connecticut] is a handsome place, and the people know how to entertain strangers. I think the [Colored Temperance] Convention next year ought to be held there again, as I do not think that it was generally known.” Indeed, the story of how blacks and Native Americans from Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and the West Indies transformed an isolated, undesirable part of town into a thriving, “peri-urban multi-ethnic enclave” in the early-nineteenth century is generally not known to many. The lack of historical data on this free community of color has rendered its legacies of freedom, entrepreneurship, and cultural innovation invisible to our present landscape. This exhibition produced in partnership with the Freeman Center and emerging research from Dr. Jamila Moore Pewu, provides an introduction to Little Liberia, its people, its surviving architecture, and its cultural geography. Visitors will engage original art, artifacts and historical vignettes as they rediscover Little Liberia’s  potential for reimagining the city today.

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