Using Olin Dows’ 1940 murals at the Rhinebeck Post Office as a prompt, what can we come to understand about local Black history, and changing perceptions of that history over generations?

How the booklet was used in Rhinebeck’s 7th grade class

When controversy arose over the 1940s depiction of enslaved individuals in the Rhinebeck Post Office, I led an effort involving Celebrating the African Spirit (where I serve on the research committee) and local community members including elected officials, where a consensus emerged that there was an urgent need to preserve the murals as a rare instance of Black history being depicted in the past, but that context should be added. This booklet is that context.

For printed copies of the digital booklet below, contact Bill Jeffway

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