Address: 114 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT
The New Haven Museum will host a screening of “What Could Have Been,” a documentary by the Beinecke Library at Yale. The film confronts the unfortunate history of how Black New Haven leaders lost the fight to create the nation’s first Black college in 1831, when it was rejected by white property owners of the city, despite the support of several prominent leaders. Masks are required in the museum, and space is limited.
Cropper has spent five years at the library highlighting local and national history that lives in the collections. “The question ‘what could have been?’ genuinely makes you think about what New Haven and the United States could have been like if a historic decision such as the creation of a Black college were approved,” Cropper says. “What would relations have been like between Yale and this college, and what impactful Black figures that we know of today would have attended the college?”
With the documentary, Cropper aims to build awareness of the leading role New Haven played in the development of a growing nation, and the many intellectual and brave people of color who stood at the forefront. “It took valiant Black leaders, like Bias Stanley and Scipio Augustus, along with the courageous abolition mindset of white leaders like Simeon Jocelyn and William Lloyd Garrison to make such an impact on the way the nation progressed,” he says.
“History is so important because acknowledging the past helps us understand the multitude of perspectives that make up this world,” Cropper says. “By understanding the steppingstones that were put in place, at a time where it seemed almost impossible, we can prevent similar things from reoccurring.”
https://www.facebook.com/events/541751151043058 ( https://www.facebook.com/events/541751151043058 )