Face of Love

Missouri Germans Consortium is proud to present this program in collaboration with Gitana Productions! We invite you to join us for an afternoon you will never forget! This event at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 23, 2019 in St. Louis’ German Cultural Society’s Hall at 3652 Jefferson is free, but we do ask that you please register.
To Register for this Free Program at Eventbrite CLICK HERE >>
info@gitana-inc.org or call 314-721-6556

There is a rich and impressive history of German Abolitionists who fought for a color-blind democracy in Missouri. This history is largely unknown to many in the St. Louis region and is a good reason to celebrate the incredible intersection of shared American ideals between German immigrants and enslaved African Americans before and after the Civil War.

This symposium includes very knowledgeable scholars and historians that will tell us that history and they will be joined by community leaders from the German and African American communities. Special guests include U.S. Diplomat and German Consul General (Chicago) Herbert Quelle and Police Commissioner, John Hayden. Panelists will include Dr. Sydney Norton author of German Abolitionists of Missouri,Dorris Keeven-Franke, author and Director of the Missouri Germans Consortium, Dr. John Wright, historian and community leader and Rev. Starsky Wilson, social activist and philanthropist. There will be shared musical and artistic presentations from both cultural groups to celebrate our shared history and nurture continued dialogue. Ruth Ezell, Producer and Reporter with Living St. Louis, KETC will moderate the Symposium.

The panel will include Dr. Sydney Norton, Associate Professor of German at St. Louis University, Dorris Keeven-Franke, Director of the Missouri Germans Consortium, (Collaborating Partner), Dr. John Wright, highly regarded educator, historian, Honorary Consul to Senegal and community leader from the African American community. Rev. Starsky Wilson, President/CEO of the Deaconess Foundation will also join the panel. Rev. Wilson is a philanthropist and activist that was appointed to the Ferguson Commission by Gov. Nixon in 2014 and was elected chair of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in 2017.

Dr. Norton and Dorris Keeven-Franke will focus on the actual history of German Abolitionists in Missouri and Dr. Wright and Rev. Starsky Wilson will connect that specific history to our community needs today. Rev. Wilson
will provide additional comments that celebrate the contributions of German Abolitionists from the African American community. Q/A will follow the symposium presentations.The cross-cultural engagement component will include music and arts presentations provided by representatives from the German and African American community and the inclusion of key leaders from both communities. John Hayden, Police Commissioner with the City of St. Louis and German Consul General Herbert Quelle have confirmed their participation and will provide the welcome and opening remarks. Consul General Quelle is a musician who plays harmonica and specializes in German folkloric music as well as
the Blues. Actors and singers from the African American and German community will join the Consul General in an exchange of music and performance

This program aims to bring together the two largest ethnic groups of the St. Louis region (Germans and African Americans) who are each represented by diverse social, cultural and political experiences and perspectives. As Americans we have the opportunity to hear about our incredible common history that moved the State of Missouri forward and resulted in the emancipation of slavery. This is an opportunity to learn about that shared history and for both communities to celebrate the contributions made by German abolitionists who were largely immigrants. Through the understanding of that history (largely unknown particularly in the African American community) and the celebration of the achievements of German Abolitionists and African Americans during the Civil War period we hope to open up pathways to dialogue that allow us to converse about the core ideals of Democracy that we share and to promote authentic relationship development.

In succinct terms our immediate goals are a) to impart information about German Abolitionists in Missouri and the shared history between African Americans and the German community, b) to engage both communities in
dialogue about that history and connections to the present, c) to engage African Americans and Germans in an artistic experience that highlights our common love for music and the arts and d) to intentionally “sow the seeds” of continued education and engagement.

Read more about this event in St. Louis Magazine https://www.stlmag.com/events/the-face-of-love-symposium-on-the-common-history-of-german-a/

Register at Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/face-of-love-common-history-of-african-americans-and-germans-in-missouri-tickets-51863301531