Scranton Story Spring Events Begin With Focus on Black History in City, Nation

Scranton Story project events continue this spring with theme dedicated to Black history and experience.
Artist rendering as background for logo that states "The Underground Railroad to Black Scranton”

This spring’s first theme in the Scranton’s Story, Our Nation’s Story project, “The Underground Railroad to Black Scranton” will explore Scranton’s Black history, including nearby Waverly, Pennsylvania as an outpost of the Underground Railroad, the trials and triumphs of the Black community in business, housing, arts, and culture, and the connections and significance of Scranton area history to U.S. Black history. This project is made possible thanks to a generous National Endowment for the Humanities grant to explore Scranton’s history, culture, and role in the nation at large.

Theme events will include humanities lectures and discussions, a PBS Black History film series, and a connected exhibition featuring painter Travis Prince at the Hope Horn Gallery.

Pair of Humanities Lectures and Discussions

On Thursday, Feb. 9 from 6-7 p.m. in the Moskowitz Theater at The University of Scranton a humanities lecture and discussion, “Black History and Housing in Scranton,” will feature Glynis Johns CEO and Founder of the Black Scranton Project, a local history and heritage initiative. During this event, Johns will discuss the Black history of Adams Avenue in the downtown Scranton area where a predominantly African American neighborhood existed prior to redevelopment in the 1970s. This talk will explore themes around Blackness, housing, affordability, and racial discrimination that remain relevant today. This event is also part of our spring Community-Based Learning talks series. To register, visit:

On Wednesday, Mar. 8 from 7-8:30 pm in the Rose Room, Brennan Hall 509 at The University of Scranton a humanities lecture and discussion “Black Patience,” will feature Julius Fleming, author and Associate Professor of English and Director, English Honors Program, University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Fleming will reflect on the themes raised in his recent book, "Black Patience: Performance, Civil Rights, and the Unfinished Project of Emancipation," and their relevance to our nation. Then Dr. Fleming will engage in conversation and discussion about their local relevance. This event is co-sponsored with the Black Scranton Project. To register, visit

Black History PBS Film Series

A film series will explore key people and topics related to Black history nationally and with local Scranton salience. The films will explore the visions of freedom offered by the life of Harriet Tubman; the journey of the formerly enslaved Frederick Douglass, which included a speech here in Scranton; and the northern cities' promulgation of racialized housing policies that continue to reverberate today. Events will include a one-hour film screening followed by a 30-minute Q&A with discussants drawn from the co-sponsoring organizations. Co-sponsors include the Black Scranton Project, together with Destination Freedom: Underground Railroad Walking Tour of Waverly, The University of Scranton, and WVIA.

Film schedule as follows:

To register for this film series, please email or call 570-941-4419. 

Connected Hope Horn Exhibition and Events

From Feb. 3 - Mar. 10, 2023, The University of Scranton’s Hope Horn Gallery will feature a connected exhibition, A New Understanding: Paintings by Travis Prince with a First Friday Scranton exhibition opening on Friday, Feb. 3, from 5 - 9 p.m. in Hyland Hall at The University of Scranton. Other special events on Feb. 3 at The University of Scranton include an artist’s lecture from 5 - 6 pm in Brennan Hall 228, followed by a public reception from 6 - 8 p.m. in Hyland 407.

For more information and to view upcoming events and recordings of past events, please visit

Questions? Contact or call 570-941-4419.

Follow the Scranton’s Story, Our Nation’s Story project on social media at: Facebook and Instagram @ourscrantonstory and on Twitter at @scrantonstory





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