Sunday, June 4, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Fifth Annual Girls Tea Party

Stages of Freedom presents its annual Tea Party, co-sponsored with Preserve Rhode Island, for young girls of color. 
 
 Our host, Lady Estelle Barada, a Black Victorian re-enactor, uses taking tea to teach social graces and etiquette to young girls. A long tradition in the Black community, tea parties were used to teach manners, networking and raise funds for important causes. ​ Enjoy tea, pastries and music in the historic Gov. Lippitt House Museum. 

 Wear your best party dress.
 Date Sunday, April 30, 2017
 1:00 PM 
Lippitt House Museum Providence, RI
 Price $5.00 per girl Ages 6 to 12 
Register my girl for "Girls Tea Party" 
 Sponsors play an important role in our Tea for Girls event! Sponsors provide funds that help us improve the event and bring more to the table.
 Sponsors make this amazing tea party possible, and this year you can make a difference to our wonderful girls.
 Become a sponsor donor of $25.00
Thank you for attending our fifth annual Girls Tea Party and making it a huge success!
A huge thank you to Lady Estelle Barada, board member Connie Jordan, and Carrie Taylor at the Lippitt House Museum for making this event so special and meaningful for both the girls and the adults!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dressing in Historic Attire

I am a Living History Reenactor and Docent at the Historic Hearthside House in Lincoln, RI .
I enjoy dressing in historic attire and tell stories of how women lived in the past. It is educational and also stimulates the imagination.

I am also studying the role African American women played in history. I am working on a persona of a great historian to educate all about the contribution of Blacks to this historical era.

I want my page to be fun, educational and relaxing.
Come often and have a cup of tea with me... I will be adding great photos for you to enjoy and comment on. I hope you will enjoy your stay here!... Anyway, "Please Come In my Dears, and Do not Forget to "Leave Your Calling Card" at the Door"!
Welcome!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Re-living the Untold Story of Great Women of the Past.

 I am a Living History Reenactor.

You may have heard of women in history, like Sarah Forbes Bonetta, Elizabeth Keckley, Sissieretta Joans, Duchess Quamino or Phillis the slave cook of the Hazard family. These women are from as early as the 1700's to the Post Civil war times. .
I have done much research as possible on these women and made it a mission to tell their stories of strength and endurance though adversities.  .




*Phillis the slave of the Hazard family. was  a 19th century South County Rhode Island Cook of Extraordinary Talent.
Phillis, a South County slave from Senegambia, cooked the best jonnycake.
“She didn’t create jonnycakes, but she perfected them,”

Phillis was a cook of Thomas Hazard, a major landowner in South Kingstown. Hazard, who was also known as “College Tom,” distinguishing him from the many other Thomas’ in the family,  freed his slaves in the 1740s, but many stayed on to work for him. Phillis was among them.

“The reason for that was that you had slaves, and they were there for life. This wasn’t a temporary employee. Whatever you did, you got them to do it well, so if you were rich, like the Hazards, you had 20 slaves and each one had a specialty.”
“Phillis,was just the best cook in all of South County.”
In 1797, College Tom’s grandson, Thomas Robinson Hazard, known as “Shepherd Tom,” wrote a book that included an extensive recount of Phillis’ cooking. The book, which wasn’t actually published until 1915, was titled “The Jonny-Cake Papers.”
It is considered as the second black cookbook in America, so rich is it with descriptions of her dishes and cooking techniques.
Although Phillis and her cooking aren’t the only subjects of “The Jonny-Cake Papers, Shepard Tom “just kept coming back to her.”
He added that the Hazard family adored Phillis, considering her to be the best cook in the state.
“And maybe in America, and they brag about her in this book—the way she cooked, how she cooked, how much she used, where she got her milk from.”
Within “The Jonny-Cake Papers,” Phillis’ cooking technique is described in great detail.



 However, no actual recipes were ever recorded.
“[Phillis] was first and foremost the authority on baking jonnycake using whitecap flint corn.
That whitecap flint corn was ground at Hammond’s Mill, now the site the Gilbert Stuart Museum in Saunderstown.
  Telling the story of Phillis as a living history re-enactor, I would explain how Phillis would have used ingredients completely local to South County.
“She had really quality ingredients to use. “And remember, the Hazards were rich people. So whatever she wanted—she was a cook that said ‘I want’—and she would get.”
The details of her secrets, not only how to bake jonnycakes, but how to serve them are extraordinary.”
 

The Johnny-cake Papers Of "shepard Tom,": Together With Reminiscences Of Narragansett Schools Of Former Days Hardcover – August 9, 2015




 

* Charity "Duchess" Quamino 1739-1792
 "Duchess" Quamino was born in Africa in 1739, and was sold into slavery. She was held as a slave by the William Ellery-Channing. .
  “Duchess” was known for her frosted plum cake,  In 1792 Duchess dies in Newport; recognized as the Pastry Queen of Rhode Island.



 She served George Washington twice and purchased her freedom with money made by selling baked goods.
In 1774 John Quamino , Duchess's husband was sent to study at College of New Jersey (the future Princeton University) to train as Christian Missionaries. He was one of the first Africans to attend college in America.



*Sissieretta Jones,  (1869-1933)
 An African-American singer of classical songs and opera. Soprano Sissieretta Joyner Jones made a name for herself in tours of Europe and the United States both as a solo performer and as the leader of the Black Patti Troubadours, a theatrical ensemble that bridged the gap between 19th century minstrel shows and 20th century vaudeville.






Sissieretta was born in Virginia but she moved to Rhode Island with her parents at the age of seven. She grew up in Providence where she took piano lessons and sang in various Baptist churches  (her father was a Methodist Episcopal preacher). She began her professional career singing in Rhode Island, nearby Massachusetts and Boston. She expanded her repertoire beyond church music to include American parlor songs, classical European art songs and opera.
During this time, at the now shocking age of fourteen, she married a local hotel bellman, David Jones, who would for a number of years be Sissieretta’s business manager.  At the age of nineteen, however, she moved to New York City where she continued her music studies with various vocal teachers and began concertizing to glowing critical reviews, many of which compared her voice to that of the famous Italian opera star of the day, soprano Adelina Patti.  In fact she was called “the Black Patti,” a sobriquet that followed her for most of her career.
Sissieretta Jones: ‘The Greatest Singer of Her Race,’ 1868-1933, published May 15, 2012, by the University of South Carolina Press.






* Elizabeth Keckley, February 1818 – May 1907

Former slave turned successful dressmaker in Saint Louis who purchased her own freedom; friend and confidante as well as dressmaker to Mrs. Lincoln; grieving mother and widow; author of a controversial and popular memoir; abolitionist; and finally, sewing teacher. 






 Elizabeth Keckley established her own business in Washington and soon powerful politicians’ wives clamored for her gowns. She employed as many as twenty apprentices in her shop. Keckly was intimately involved with the Lincolns. She attended the sick bed of the Lincoln’s dying son Willie, and became Mary’s closest confidante. Elizabeth used her influence with the president’s wife to solicit relief for contrabands, slaves who had freed themselves by fleeing behind Union military lines; many lacked shelter, jobs, and provisions. Keckly founded a Contraband Relief Association, with support from noted abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Elizabeth helped Mary dress for special occasions, and groomed the President’s hair: When almost ready to go down to a reception, [Lincoln] would turn to me with a quizzical look: “Well, Madam Elizabeth, will you brush my bristles down tonight?”

Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave, And Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth Keckley






 * Sarah Forbes Bonetta (1843-1880)
Jones, Sissieretta (1869-1933)
 Sara Forbes Bonetta was a West African Egbado Omoba who was orphaned in inter-tribal warfare at the age of eight and subsequently captured by slave-raiders. Intended by her Dahomeyan captors to be a human sacrifice, she was rescue...d by Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy, who convinced King Ghezo of Dahomey to give her to Queen Victoria, "She would be a present from the King of the blacks to the Queen of the Whites," Forbes wrote later. He named her Sara Forbes Bonetta. 

 


Queen Victoria was impressed by the young princess' exceptional intelligence, and had Sara raised as her goddaughter in the British middle class. In 1851 she gained a long lasting cough that was caused by the climate of Great Britain, something that a West African like her was thoroughly unaccustumed to. She was sent to school in Africa, and later returned to England when she turned 20. She was then sanctioned by the queen to marry Captain James Davies at St Nicholas' Church in Brighton in August, 1862, after a period which was to be spent in the town in preparation for the wedding. During her subsequent time in Brighton, she lived at 17 Clifton Hill in the Montpelier area. Captain Davies was a Yoruba businessman of considerable wealth for the period, and the couple moved back to their native Africa after their wedding. Sara was subsequently baptized at a church in the town of Badagry, a former slave port. She died at the age of 37 in 1880 of tuberculosis. Her husband had previously been concerned about her because she appeared to have had a cough that would not go away; she was eventually diagnosed with what was termed the consumption. Her daughter by him, christened Victoria, also served as the goddaughter of the Queen of England.
Jones, Sissieretta (1869-1933)


Jones, Sissieretta (1869-1933)



   
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Sissieretta Jones was a world-famous soprano who in June 1892, became the first African American to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City, New York. Touring internationally in the late 1800s and early 1900s, she sang both classical opera and performed in musical comedies with her own troupe.
Born Matilda Sissieretta Joyner on January 5, 1869, in Portsmouth, Virginia, she was the child of Jeremiah Joyner, a pastor, and Henrietta Joyner, a singer in the church choir. After moving with her family to Rhode Island when she was six, Sissieretta began singing in the church choir, which was directed by her father. When only fourteen, she married David Richard Jones, who became her first manager. Later, she formally studied voice at the Providence Academy of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Boston (Massachusetts) Conservatory.
- See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/jones-sissieretta-1869-1933#sthash.afPWNxU3.dpuf

Jones, Sissieretta (1869-1933)



   
Image Ownership: Public Domain
Sissieretta Jones was a world-famous soprano who in June 1892, became the first African American to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City, New York. Touring internationally in the late 1800s and early 1900s, she sang both classical opera and performed in musical comedies with her own troupe.
Born Matilda Sissieretta Joyner on January 5, 1869, in Portsmouth, Virginia, she was the child of Jeremiah Joyner, a pastor, and Henrietta Joyner, a singer in the church choir. After moving with her family to Rhode Island when she was six, Sissieretta began singing in the church choir, which was directed by her father. When only fourteen, she married David Richard Jones, who became her first manager. Later, she formally studied voice at the Providence Academy of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Boston (Massachusetts) Conservatory.
- See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/jones-sissieretta-1869-1933#sthash.afPWNxU3.dpuf










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My Victorian Hostess Gown


Honorable Mention:

Costume Contest USA Entry 29.) Dress: Historic Hearthside House Hostess Gown Victorian Costume Contest



Victorian Dress Costume ContestComment by JUDGE Lisa Schnapp: 8/15/2010

"Lovely, glowing creation blended of soft, feminine hues. A stunning gown that embodies Victorian style femininity..."








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