Weirton Area Museum to celebrate black history

WEIRTON – The Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center will celebrate Black History Month Feb. 2.

Heather Cline, Grave Creek Archaeological Complex lead curator, will give a presentation on archaeological work conducted at sites tied to slave and free African-American communities in West Virginia and the Ohio Valley at noon. She will speak about clues as to the types and quality of pottery, food and jewelry found in the communities and their ties to African traditions.

Cline has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a focus on historical archaeology from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in public history from Armstrong Atlantic University. She has been interested in African-American studies since her teens in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

“Archaeology has the ability to provide a voice for the often silent record of the past,” said Dave Rotenizer, Grave Creek site manager. “Heather’s strong background in African-American studies will help visitors understand this perspective.”

The museum also will unveil the Weirton Dunbar High School display, including information on Anthony Major, the first African-American school principal in the state to earn a doctorate degree, and Bob Trice, a Dunbar student whose professional baseball career included playing with the Homestead Greys and the Philadelphia Athletics, for whom he pitched a 1-0 shutout against the New York Yankees. Those involved with the school’s athletic teams, classes, faculty and parents will be featured. Bob Kelley, former Weir High School star athlete, donated two display cabinets for the display. Kelley and Mayor George Kondik will speak.

Museum Secretary Kim Salter, Corliss Brown, Kelly and Dennis Jones, museum president and executive director, are coordinating the event.