An Evening to Honor Fannie Barrier Williams and William Page


On Friday, February 5 at 7 pm, the Village of Brockport will join The College at Brockport to celebrate two of Brockport’s prominent 19th Century African-American residents and their families: William Page and Fannie Barrier Williams. The celebration will include presentations, musical performances, and refreshments. It will take place on the College campus in the New York Room of Cooper Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Sarah Cedeño, Brockport Village Historian and Lecturer in the College at Brockport’s English Department, will discuss the lives of the William Page family and their place in Brockport’s history. William Page, born into slavery in 1834 in Florida, was sent to western New York via the Underground Railroad. Page earned his certificate in civil engineering from Rochester before raising his family in Brockport, NY.

Ann Frey, retired Brockport Central School history teacher, will present the life of Brockport-born Fannie Barrier Williams. Mrs. Williams was a nationally known lecturer who worked tirelessly to promote programs to benefit the free and newly freed black women. She helped establish the NAACP and Chicago’s Provident Hospital—the first black-owned and operated hospital in America.

In addition to presentations, College at Brockport student Oscia Miles, an Interdisciplinary Arts major, will perform a speech written by Fannie Barrier Williams. Pianist Greg Turner will entertain the audience with some music composed by Harry Page.

The evening will conclude with punch and a birthday cake to celebrate the February birthday of Mrs. Barrier Williams.

This event is co-sponsored by the Museum Studies/Public History Program at the College at Brockport and the Emily L. Knapp Museum & Library of Local History in the Village of Brockport. Additional support is provided by the Department of Anthropology, the Department of History, and the Office of the College Provost.


Black History Month Flyer Final

Published by Emily L Knapp Museum

The Emily L. Knapp Museum is a municipal museum associated with the Village of Brockport. The museum is located on the second and third floors in the former home of one of Brockport’s most prominent families, the Seymours, while the first floor contains the Village of Brockport offices. Those who visit Brockport’s collection of local history will feel they’ve entered a time when the Erie Canal was the bustling commercial center of this Victorian village: when ladies wore high-laced shoes and skirts that scraped the slate sidewalks, and the gentlemen sported tall silk hats; when phonographs and stereopticon views as well as novels by our famed authoress, Mary Jane Holmes, entertained the masses. Don’t take our word for it, see for yourself.

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