A statement from the Durand-Hedden House & Garden to the Maplewood-South Orange community:
The Durand-Hedden House, Maplewood’s historical society, stands with and supports our African American community and the Black Lives Matter movement in the quest for a society that treats all people fairly. We must all work together to right the grave injustices that have made it impossible for Black people to benefit equally from all our nation has to offer.
Last June, Durand-Hedden, in collaboration with the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, presented our research exhibit, The Troubled History of Slavery in New Jersey (see downloadable pdf below). The history presented surprised and alarmed many viewers, who had believed that New Jersey, in the North, was a relatively safe and benevolent place for Black people. Tragically, this was not true in the 1800s and, for reasons that are in some ways different and in others the same, it is not true today.
We believe that it is critical, in the diverse communities of Maplewood and South Orange, for Durand-Hedden to continue to work with others to explore and educate the public about the rich history and culture of African Americans, and the often-unheralded role that Black people have played in making our world a better place.