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Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage holds Enslaved Memorial Service for Black History Month

by PRIDE Newsdesk
The Hermitage Enslaved Memorial Celebration will take place Saturday, February 25, from 11 am–12 pm.

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage will hold its annual commemoration of those once enslaved at the Hermitage Saturday, February 25, at 11 am. Held at The Hermitage Church, the service will feature music by The Eagle Honor Choir from Andrew Jackson Elementary School and special remarks from Vanderbilt University Professor Dennis C. Dickerson. Attendees will then be led in a procession to the slavery memorial ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd,’ located behind the church. There, 150 flowers will be laid by attendees, marked with the names of all those known to have been enslaved at the Hermitage.

Professor Dennis C. Dickerson is the Rev. James M. Lawson Chair in History at Vanderbilt University. A native of Duquesne, Pennsylvania, he earned his B.A. from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.Div. from Vanderbilt University. He also studied at Hartford Seminary and Memphis Theological Seminary. Previously, he taught as Stanfield Professor of History at Williams College, First Tennessee Professor of History at Rhodes College and as a Visiting Professor both at Yale Divinity School and at Payne Theological Seminary. In Spring 2014, he was a Siemens Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.

At Vanderbilt University, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in American and African American history and special courses on the Civil Rights Movement, Religion and the Civil Rights Movement, Barack Obama: Man and President, and American and African American Religious History.

He was president of the American Society of Church History and served between 2014 and 2019 as a member of the Evaluation Committee to Visit the Harvard Divinity School. He has written Out of the Crucible: Black Steelworkers in Western Pennsylvania, 1875-1980 (1986), Militant Mediator: Whitney M. Young, Jr. (1998) and African American Preachers and Politics: The Careys of Chicago (2010). His new book, The African Methodist Episcopal Church: A History, is being published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press. Currently, he is finishing A Brother in the Spirit of Gandhi: William Stuart Nelson and the Religious Origins of the Civil Rights Movement and James M. Lawson, Jr.: A Biography of Moral Insurgency.

He is married to Mrs. Mary A. E. Dickerson, B.B.A., a graduate of the University of Memphis. They are the parents to four adult children and the proud grandparents to 11 grandchildren.

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