Hosanna School Museum to host ‘200 Years of Returns’ July 27


The historic Hosanna School Museum marks the bicentennial of Liberia’s establishment as a colony with a theatrical performance July 27. Here are the details provided by he museum:

Historic Hosanna School Museum in Harford County, Md., Commemorates the 200th Anniversary of Liberia’s Independence from the United States with Special Theatrical Performance

DARLINGTON, Md. – In celebration of Liberia Independence Day, the historic Hosanna School Museum will host a special theatrical performance entitled, 200 Years of Returns, to commemorate July 26, 1847, when free and freed Black Americans who relocated to Africa issued a Declaration of Independence and enacted a constitution that later established the independent Republic of Liberia.

200 Years of Returns compares past and present “returns” to Liberia since 1822 to explore trauma, truth, consequences and responsibility using historical documents to highlight multiple perspectives and viewpoints. More than 10,000 free and manumitted Black people were colonized in Africa (Liberia) between 1821 and 1867. Many of them were Marylanders. 2022 marks the bicentennial of Liberia’s establishment as a colony under the American Colonization Society (ACS).

Following the performance of selected scenes, Dr. Jasmine L. Blanks Jones, executive director, scholar and playwright, will share key historical documents undergirding 200 Years of Returns to include additional archived materials from the Maryland State Colonization Society (MSCS) housed at the Maryland Center for History and Culture and at Johns Hopkins University. MSCS was the Maryland branch of the ACS. Dr. Jones also will lead a workshop using dance and drama to bring to life the voices of Black Marylanders and share their perspectives on colonization in Liberia in the early 1800s and their freedom-making practices.

Dr. Iris Leigh Barnes, historian and executive director of Hosanna School Museum, will share stories of the Harford County and Cecil County connections to the Liberia colonization movement.

Guests will meet the cast of B4 Youth Theatre from Liberia and Black museum theater actor interpreters from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to learn their process of interpreting archival documents through performance. Lunch will be provided and a $20 donation is suggested.

WHEN:          Wednesday, July 27, 2022

                        11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

WHERE:        Hosanna School Museum

                        2424 Castleton Road

                        Darlington, MD 21034


Hosanna School Museum was the first of three Freedmen’s Bureau schoolhouses erected in Harford County, Md. The building was used as a school, community meeting place and church. In 1879, Harford County School Commissioners assumed operation of the school and Hosanna remained an active schoolhouse for African American children until 1946. Currently, it is a living schoolhouse museum, attracting visitors from all over the country. The building is also available for community meetings or public and private events. To learn more about Hosanna School Museum or to make a donation, visit HosannaSchoolMuseum.org.