I am writing to emphasize the vital importance of our local Black history, and the significant impact it has on our community and nation. The upcoming dramatic presentation by the Community Arts Network, bringing to life the story of Camp Delaware during Black History month 2024, is an endeavor of utmost value and relevance.

It is a matter of great concern that, despite living in Delaware County, I did not receive the opportunity to learn about this crucial part of our local history during my middle and high school education. The story of Camp Delaware, a Civil War training camp for Black troops, holds immense historical and cultural significance, not only for our community but for the entire nation.

The Community Arts Network’s initiative to showcase this important chapter of our history through a dramatic presentation is commendable. By shining a light on Camp Delaware and the experiences of Black troops during the Civil War, this performance serves as a means to educate and enlighten our community about the often overlooked contributions and sacrifices made by Black individuals throughout history.

Furthermore, the Community Arts Network’s role as a 501(c)(3) organization providing scholarships to Black Delaware graduates pursuing higher education in the performing arts adds another layer of significance to their efforts. By supporting and promoting Black talent and education in the performing arts, they are not only preserving and celebrating our local Black history, but also nurturing the potential and aspirations of future generations.

I urge the Delaware community to extend their unwavering support to this important effort. By attending and participating in the dramatic presentation of Camp Delaware’s story, we can collectively contribute to the preservation and dissemination of our local Black history. It is crucial that we recognize and honor the diverse tapestry of experiences, struggles, and triumphs that have shaped our community and nation, and this presentation provides an invaluable opportunity to do so.

In light of the academic omission I experienced in my own education, I emphasize the urgent need to embrace and incorporate local Black history in our educational curriculum. Our history is not complete without the inclusion of the stories and experiences of Black individuals and communities. By doing so, we foster a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of our past and pave the way for a more inclusive and empathetic society.

I implore the residents of Delaware County to partake in and support this initiative by attending the dramatic presentation and contributing to the preservation and celebration of our local Black history. Let us join hands to ensure that the story of Camp Delaware and other remarkable chapters in our Black history are rightfully recognized, honored, and passed on to future generations.

Anne Gadd