Public Info

Free Performance of “The Colored Museum” to Commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Forced African Migration

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites the public to attend a free performance of the renowned play, The Colored Museum,” at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway on Friday, October 18 at 8:00 p.m.. The Freeholder Board is sponsoring this special event as part of a nationwide effort to commemorate the 400th year anniversary since the first Africans were forcefully brought to the United States as slaves.

Historians date the era of institutionalized slavery in the United States from September 1619, when a ship bearing 20 enslaved people from West Africa arrived in Virginia.

“Through the powerful impact of live theatre, The Colored Museum helps us understand how our national identity, and the course of our history, has been shaped over the 400 years since that first ship arrived,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski.

The Colored Museum was written in 1986 by George C. Wolfe. It provides a window into the struggles and resilience of African Americans through 11 vignettes, each focusing on a different “exhibit” bringing forth themes of racism, stereotypes, and African American cultural identity, enabling the audience to reexamine the history of African Americans.

“It is crucial that we acknowledge and tell the story of the hundreds of years of slavery, genocide, and systematic oppression of African people in America, as well as the culture that we have created,” said Freeholder Rebecca Williams. “The 400th anniversary of this event is significant in this country’s history, as it has played a major role in the culture of African Americans and our progression in this country, even today.”

Admission to this event is free, however all seats are ticketed and reserved. Tickets are available on a first come first serve basis. To receive tickets and for more information contact the Union County Performing Arts Center box office at 732-499-8226 or visit

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