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Black Heritage Trail 2014 Lectures

Elinor Williams HookerTOP EVENTS

The Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail is proud to announce its new season of winter lectures at Discover Portsmouth. The series of Winter Tea Talks has been named in honor of Nashua resident and social activist Elinor Williams Hooker. (Click title for complete schedule) 

The Elinor Williams Hooker Winter Tea Talks, is a series of participatory lectures related to New Hampshire's Black history and African American culture.  Lectures are held on the2nd and 4thSundayof the month beginning onFebruary 2, from2 – 4 pm, at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle St. Portsmouth, NH. Two additional talks will be presented in February in honor of Black history month.

Lecture Schedule

Sunday, February 2

“Tuskegee Airman: One Man’s Story” by James Sheppard

Opening event will celebrate the naming of the Tea Talks

 Sunday, February 9

"Being Black in New Hampshire: Two Hundred Years of African American Writers in the Granite State" by Jeff Bolster.  Reception announcing the Valerie Cunningham Society for the Preservation for African American History will follow talk.

Sunday, February 16

Black Indians: an American Story. Film and Discussion lead by Siobhan Senier

Sunday, February 23

12 Years a Slave. Panel discussion lead by Joe Onosko

Sunday, March 9     

“The Making of a Novel” by Virginia L. Towler

Sunday, March 23   

The Negro Sailor. Film and discussion with former submariner Alexander Welch

Sunday, April 13      

“New Hampshire’s Battle for Civil Rights: A 50 Year Retrospective” by Valerie Cunningham.

Sunday, April 27      

“No Longer Hidden: Blacks of Early Kittery and Berwick, Maine” by Patricia Wall 

The 2014 Elinor Williams Hooker Winter Tea Talks are sponsored by the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Discover Portsmouth Center, Portsmouth Historical Society and The Seacoast African American Cultural Center.

Event is free and open to the public.

For more information

About Elinor W Hooker

Elinor W. Hooker (July 10, 1933 -January 27, 2012), a long time New Hampshire resident and activist, was born July 10, 1933 in Pittsburgh, PA, daughter of the late Dr. Ulysses Williams and Louise G. Williams. The family's Pittsburgh home was near Wylie Avenue an active community of black businesses, jazz music and churches, a location that would shape her lifelong interest in multicultural activities.

Mrs. Hooker was a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where she majored in French and English.  She taught English in Junior and Senior High Schools in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, PA, Brockton and Quincy, MA and Concord, NH and served as a tutor in the English as a Second Language Program at Nashua's Pennichuck Junior High.

As a community activist, she volunteered with several groups including the Nashua Multicultural Committee and served as scholarship chairperson and assistant treasurer for the New Hampshire Outreach for Black Unity. During her tenure she chaired art exhibits by black artists and black performing artists. Elinor was a strong advocate of cultural diversity and Teaching Tolerance in schools base on the programs developed by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

Elinor was the wife of Thomas L. Hooker, who served from 1966 to 1974 as Director of the New Hampshire Division of Welfare. Shortly after moving to New Hampshire in 1966, Elinor and husband Tom became aware of Valerie Cunningham’s research on the history of blacks in New Hampshire. Both became supporters of PBHT and were interested in its growth.

Photo of Elinor Williams Hooker courtesy of her husband, Thomas Hooker

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