Black History program looks at ‘Images of America’

Stratford Senior Services will present a special program in honor of Black History Month given by Jeffrey Fletcher on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 1-3 p.m., that includes a display in the Baldwin Center’s main lobby. The event is free and open to the community and is cosponsored by Comfort Keepers, a non-medical home-care agency and a donation from a Baldwin Center member.

Fletcher, a Branford resident and former New Haven police officer, is the owner of African American Collection Inc. The collection was started by his mother, who frequented tag sales to buy what Fletcher believed at the time were only “knick-knacks.” However, when she passed away and gave her collection to Fletcher, he realized that she had been collecting remnants of the Jim Crow era that she lived through.

At first Jeffrey didn’t know what to do with them but one morning an epiphany hit him. He took another look at the collection and knew what he was meant to do: tell his mother’s story and continue his mother’s work.

The presentation at the Baldwin Center is for retelling history.  It is open for each individual’s interpretation. Jeffrey Fletcher believes the key to the future is the past. “African American history is no longer a topic of conversation in most homes, schools or churches across our country. This collection/exhibition will give everyone an opportunity to experience a powerful visual display of what motivated the trailblazers and pioneers who forged the way for equality as well as freedom for African Americans today. This is not about hating,” Fletcher said. “It’s about discussing a history that has been buried for so long.”

The collection contains more than 4,700 pieces, including a Klu Klux Clan robe, Tuskegee uniform, slave shackles, signs demonstrating segregation and more. Jeffrey’s collection includes items that can be presently seen in Washington, D.C. at the National Museum for African American History.  

A few key pieces of Jeffrey Fletcher’s exhibit, Images of America, will be on display at the Baldwin Center lobby starting Feb. 6 and extending through February.

For more information, call the Baldwin Center at 203-385-4050 or visit Townofstratford.com/seniorservices.

Jeffrey Fletcher’s exhibit, Images of America, will be on display at the Baldwin Center lobby starting Feb. 6 and extending through February.

Jeffrey Fletcher’s exhibit, Images of America, will be on display at the Baldwin Center lobby starting Feb. 6 and extending through February.

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