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Face of Love

Face of Love: Symposium on the Common History of German and African Americans in Missouri is on February 23, 2019 and will include three components: a) educational, b) cross-cultural engagement and 3) an arts component.

Location: German Cultural Society of St. Louis Hall, 3652 Jefferson Avenue, St. Louis, 63118

Time: 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The educational program will be delivered by historians and will focus on the significant role of German abolitionists in Missouri and their contributions to the African American community. The historians will be joined by community leaders on the panel who will connect history to the present offering perspectives on where we are today and what is needed.

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.

General Purpose and Goals
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.

http://www.gitana-inc.org

http://www.mo-germans.com

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

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Friedrich Hecker

Friedrich Hecker was a hero to the vast majority of German Americans living in the United States during the mid-19th Century. The Friedrich Hecker Monument was dedicated on October 1, 1882 before a crowd of over 15,000 in our beautiful Benton Park, Fr_Hecker_3in St. Louis, Missouri.Born September 28, 1811 in Eichtersheim, Grand Duchy of Baden, he was a German lawyer and politician, and one of the primary agitators in the 1848 Revolutions in Germany. Following the 1848 German Revolution he moved to the United States, but maintained an acute interest in events in Germany. In the spring of 1849, the Baden revolution re-ignited, and Hecker returned to Europe to participate. However, he only made it as far as Strassburg when word came that the insurrection had been defeated by Prussian troops and he returned to Illinois once again.

Leading up to the Civil War, he became increasingly focused on the issue of abolishing slavery, and wrote the forward to a German translation to Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man so that all of his fellow Germans could know this great writing. After the Battle of Fort Sumpter, when Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, Hecker would begin recruiting, and Illinois exceeded its allotment of 6,000 volunteers in five days. Hecker would serve as a Brigade commander in the Union Army during the Civil War, leading the 3rd 350px-Friedrich_Heckers_FarmBrigade, 3rd Division, XI Corps.  After the war, Hecker returned to his farm in Summerfield, Illinois. It was in 1871 that he gave his very famous address at St. Louis of his enthusiasm for the German Americans and their glorious future in their newly united Fatherland, the United States. He passed away on March 24, 1881 and was buried at his farm in Lebanon, Illinois called Summerfield.

On Sunday, August 12, 2018 Johannes Fechner (MdB) a member of the German Bundestag, will be visiting our area to lay wreaths at both the Benton Park Memorial and the burial site in Summerfield, Illinois. Members of the Illinois Civil war Hecker Regiment will be at the Summerfield Ceremony along with members of the Missouri Sons of Union Veterans. The wreath laying at Benton Park will take place at 10am. and is located at 2101 Wyoming St. St. Louis, 63118. The wreath laying at Summerfield will take place at 12pm Noon and will be at 9920 Summerfield South Rd, Lebanon, Illinois. Everyone is most welcome to attend either or both events. Please feel free to contact us using the comment section if you would like further information.

 

 

 

 

 

The Beer Barons

It’s always fascinating to know that Germany has as much interest in the immigrants who came here as we do in the homeland. Look Filmproduktion is making a documentary for Germany’s public TV about the Beer Barons. We all know that beer, Germans and St. Louis are synonymous right? Share what you feel beer meant to our German ancestors and its role in St Louis culture please?

LOOK! Filmproduktion, is an independent production company commissioned by German public service broadcaster SWR to produce a 90 min. documentary film about the history of German immigrants who came to the US in the 19. Century and established themselves as brewers. Our plan is to tell the stories of several “beer-families“, the specific culture they and their fellow German immigrants brought to the cities they settled in, such as St. Louis and Milwaukee, and their rise and fall through Civil War, Gold Rush era, World Wars, Prohibition and into the 20th century, drawing a lively and engaging picture of a very special part of American and German history and culture.. It is important to us to show the ways in which St. Louis has been formed by its German citizens and breweries.”

Learn more…. http://www.lookfilm.de/