The African American Experience in Cranbury
Peter Wise will discuss“Agnes Wilson, Cranbury Resident and Citizen: the Black Experience Living in Cranbury.”
Swing by the Cranbury Public Library Friday for a look glimpse into the past.
Resident Peter Wise will be on hand to discuss the history of African Americans in Cranbury during “Agnes Wilson, Cranbury Resident and Citizen: the Black Experience Living in Cranbury.”
“We in Cranbury are witnessing the passing of an era,” said Wise in an email. “There are now very few black residents whereas over 15 percent of the total population of Cranbury was African-American during the 1950's through 1980's. That amounts to over 300 residents.”
Agnes came from humble beginnings but rose to be an important force in Cranbury, being the only African-American ever elected to public office (Board of Education). She died in 2006 after living on Maplewood Avenue for 67 years.
The presentation will include Agnes Wilson's fascinating family background (including ancestors who arrived via the Underground Railroad) and her perceptions of Cranbury black culture, black-owned businesses, black religious life, social life, and race relations for the period 1938 to 1996 (including cross burnings in Cranbury by the Ku Klux Klan).
There will also be a panel discussion with Pam Hawkins, one of Agnes' granddaughters, and long-time Cranbury resident Phil Moody.
The program will be held Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m.