Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Friends of the Max Kade Institute 2011 Annual Meeting ---- St. Nazianz Village, Manitowoc County

Join us on Saturday, May 7, for our annual meeting and an exciting day in Manitowoc County where we will visit St. Nazianz, the site of the Oschwald communal society you have read about in your newsletter. A guided tour will include St. Gregory’s Catholic Church and cemetery; a walk through the village, a visit to the local museum; and a stroll to the old Salvatorian property just south of the village, where we will hold the Annual Meeting. We will conclude the day with supper at the Silver Valley Banquet Hall just west of Manitowoc.

1:30 – 2:00 Registration at St. Gregory's Church, 214 Church St., St. Nazianz, WI
2:00 – 4:00 Tour of St. Nazianz village and Salvatorian property
4:00 – 5:00 Annual Meeting and social time (followed by brief Board of Directors meeting)
5:00 – 5:30 Drive to Silver Valley Banquet Hall, 1222 S Alverno Rd. Manitowoc, WI
5:30 Dinner at Silver Valley Banquet Hall (Buffet with a variety of German dishes)

Please register by April 30th -- click HERE for PDF with registration form and driving directions

Friday, March 11, 2011

University of Heidelberg Honors American Abolitionist and Former Slave

By establishing the James W.C. Pennington Distinguished Fellowship, the University of Heidelberg/Germany is drawing attention to a long forgotten historic occurrence that brought together German democratic revolutionary ideals, the international peace movement and the abolitionist movement in America. In 1849, James W. C. Pennington became the first African American to be awarded an honorary degree from a European University when the University of Heidelberg conferred on him the honorary doctorate of divinity. He had been invited to Heidelberg by the theologian and democratic activist Friedrich Wilhelm Carové after the two met at the 1849 World Peace Congress in Paris.

Pennington was born in 1807 as Jim Pembroke, a slave on an estate in western Maryland, and later worked as a blacksmith. He escaped bondage as a young man, fled north, was able to educate himself, and became the first African American to attend classes at Yale. He was eventually ordained as a Presbyterian minister. In 1849, he published The Fugitive Blacksmith, or Events in the History of James W. C. Pennington, an account of his harrowing escape. With his oratory and literary skill, Pennington became a leading voice for the abolitionist movement, representing its Evangelical Christian branch.

According to Dr. Mischa Honeck, Assistant Professor at the University of Heidelberg’s Center for American Studies, Pennington’s honorary degree from Heidelberg not only raised his prominence in the abolitionist movement in the US, but it also was seen as a positive tool for the foundering cause of German liberalism. More information can be found here.