Businessman and Philanthropist, Dr. William Pickard, to Sponsor Event to Benefit Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum and the Motown Museum Project

Dr. William P.

Adapted from Michigan Chronicle Feature Thank You Detroit: Pickard Picks Detroit…again

Businessman and philanthropist, Dr. William Packard, is sponsoring the first “Thank You Detroit” event which will take place this weekend, June 22nd – 24th.

Packard established himself as a McDonald’s franchisee 47-years ago, becoming one of the first African-Americans to do so. Packard is no stranger to philanthropy, having donated $1 million to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture and a host of other education and cultural institutions. This time, Packard will give back to a community he has called his home for nearly 50 years – Detroit.

The “Thank You Detroit” weekend includes an appreciation picnic for current and past employees of Pickard’s McDonald’s franchises; a black-tie gala featuring the Four Tops; and the awarding of two individual $1 million gifts to the Charles H. Wright Museum and the Motown Historical Museum expansion project.

Just Added to “Cultural & Natural Resource Directory”: Emancipation Park

Photo Source: Emancipationconservatory.org

Added Emancipation Park (Houston, TX) to the “Cultural & Natural Resource Directory”

On June 19, 1865 word was finally received in Houston, Texas that slaves were freed with the Jan 1, 1863 signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. From there, June 19 became an annual day of commemoration.

African Americans were banned from using area public parks which resulted in Reverend Jack Yates to lead Antioch Baptist Church and Trinity Methodist in forming the Colored People’s Festival and Emancipation Park Association. The group raised $1000 and in 1872 purchased 10 acres of land in Houston Texas as a home for the Juneteenth Celebration – it was named Emancipation Park.

[source: emancipationparkconservancy.org]

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center (part 1 of 2)

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Photo by Sophia V. Nelson/The Merging Lanes Project

Meet Mary Dennard-Turner, part of the Maryland Park Service staff at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center located in Church Creek (Dorchester County) Maryland.

An area native. For several years she has been an active member of the local heritage preservation society. She was retired when the Maryland Park Service approached her to work as a greeter at the visitor center. She said when she retired as a corrections officer she told herself she’d never wear another uniform again. Yet, there she was, complemented by that beautiful white, green and red Maryland Park Service seal; one of the first faces to greet a few groups and I when we entered the visitor center on Tuesday.

She shared she had just crossed over the 1 year mark as a seasonal employee and is enjoying herself.

More on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center to come.

Michael Rosato’s Cambridge (Maryland) African American Heritage Mural

The African American Heritage Mural is located at the corner of Maryland Avenue and Route 50 in Cambridge, Maryland. 

Oooo I didn’t plan to capture this beauty today. I saw photos of it about a year ago, circulating online after its unveiling. But when it appeared to the right of me as I was driving by, I just had to pull over || Here is a description found on muralist, Michael Rosato’s website: “A mural highlighting Cambridge, Maryland’s rich African-American history, culture and heritage, particularly in the community around Pine Street, which is one of the oldest African-American communities in the country that dates back to the mid-1800s. Acrylic on board || I plan to look up the history of Pine Street. …Hey! There’s my girl Gloria Richardson !!in the yellow dress. Read about her while taking an African American history class at Georgia State University. It amazed me how Richardson was instrumental in a civil rights movement that spilled over into small town Maryland during the 1960s. I included Image 4, to give you a bit of context. Many are familiar with that picture of Richardson ~ “The Historian”

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Shaolin Jazz at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

The first time I visited the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, which was probably back in ‘07, I knew the space was special. Tucked away in the community of Anacostia, miles from it’s other Smithsonian counterparts, it is one of the “quieter” museums. For those who have experienced the Smithsonian corridor located near the Washington Monument, you know the wait times to get into certain museums and exhibits can sometimes take hours, days, and weeks. But not the Anacostia Community Museum. Now, in no way shape or form is this a reflection of the quality of exhibits and programming that are being produced at the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. The space continues to provide the intellectual value that founder John R. Kinard and company delivered years ago. Encouraging visitors to reflect on everything from DC’s environmental concerns to the history of the Gullah Geechee people. And in most cases when there is a special program like a film festival or exhibit opening night, the museum event space is standing room only. Yesterday was an example of that || Yesterday, while I was stuck in traffic, I decided to break up my drive and stretch my legs a bit by visiting the Anacostia Museum. I started out by viewing and making my mark on the @amandalburnham @cultural_dc installation “Block Watch”. Followed by catching a performance by @shaolinjazz then I finally took a self-guided tour of “A Right to the City”. And I’ll just say everything about Burnham’s Mobile Art Gallery, the museum’s exhibit design and the live music performance was amazing….here are a few clips from that experience ~”The Historian”

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Soon come: African American Cultural Center in Virginia Beach

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Image 1: Afro American Cultural Center at Yale University, est 1969 //Image 2: conceptual plan of the African American Cultural Center in Virginia Beach.

Yale’s Afro American Cultural Center is recognized as the first of its kind at an Ivy League school and the largest in the Northeast. With years of providing a variety of cultural, spiritual, mentoring, and tutoring services, the current Afro American Cultural Center at Yale dean, Dean Risë Nelson is championing the development of the African American Cultural in Virginia Beach.

In a keynote speech given to those working to bring Virginia Beach’s cultural center to fruition, Dean Nelson shared the following: “We are always a part of the conversation on campus and in New Haven; we do not let ourselves become invisible; our calendar is chock-full of events to bring people in continually… we believe that the history and traditions of the African diaspora should be celebrated by all Americans and members of society; the welcome mat is always out.”

[source: The Virginian-Pilot]