Montgomery Parks Guided Tours and Spoken Word Poetry Events for Black History Month

A spoken word poetry event and guided tours of a local historical site highlight
the inspirational events taking place at Josiah Henson Park. 
SILVER SPRING, MD— Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will celebrate Black History Month during the last weekend in February with free, educational events that highlight the stories, struggles and successes of African Americans. Events take place February 25 and 26, 2017 at Josiah Henson Park and include free guided tours of the park, the screening of a PBS documentary about the park and the annual spoken word poetry event, “Lyrical Rhythms: The Sounds of Freedom.
“Black History Month is an important vehicle for understanding the past so that people can appreciate the extraordinary contributions of the county’s African Americans,” said Shirl Spicer, Museum Manager for Montgomery Parks. “We encourage people of all ages to join us at these events which bring the past to life and serve as an introduction to life-long learning in culture and community.”
Josiah Henson Park is a historic resource of international significance based on its association with Reverend Henson, whose 1849 autobiography, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Following is the schedule of events taking place over the weekend:
Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26, 2017, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.:
  • A Walk in Father Henson’s Footsteps,” free guided tours retracing Reverend Josiah Henson’s life from enslavement to escape on the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. Participants will learn about his extraordinary life—the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
  • Hourly screenings, starting at 12 p.m.  of the PBS Time Team America documentary, “The Search for Josiah Henson,” which reveals new discoveries about the plantation resulting from a three-day intensive archaeological dig.
Sunday, February 26, 2017, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.:
  • Lyrical Rhythms: The Sounds of Freedom,” an annual spoken word poetry event will feature original poetry, songs and other artistic expressions from people of all ages. It will be followed by light refreshments. Last guided tour will begin Sunday at 2 p.m., as tours will take place during the poetry event.
Josiah Henson Park is located a short walk from the White Flint Metro (red) line, and parking for these events is available at the Shriver Aquatic Center, 5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, MD 20852 (about 1.5 blocks away). In the event of severe weather, please call 301-650-4373 in advance to confirm the park will be open.
Group & School Tours
Montgomery Parks also offers Group & School Tours for the public at Josiah Henson Park, as well as the Underground Railroad Experience Trail at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park and Oakley Cabin African American Museum & Park. Tours are conducted by specially trained docents who bring history alive. Tour date requests may be submitted online or through email at or by phone at 301-650-4373.
Volunteer Opportunities:
For more information on these upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, visit or contact Woodlawn Visitor Center Program Manager, Mark Thorne at 301-563-7505 or via email:
Montgomery Parks Welcomes All
Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Please contact the Program Access Office at 301-495-2581 (Voice/TTY), MD Relay 7-1-1 or 800-552-7724 or to request a disability modification. Visit for more information.

by Misha Roth



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