Legacy Day 2022

Legacy Day – a festival that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of African Americans in Kent County – has occurred each August for the past eight years. It is offered free of charge to the public, thanks to the sponsorships of individuals and organizations.

Legacy Day 2022 honors Kent County’s African American Veterans. In addition to the exhibition at the Bordley Building of the Historical Society, a wide range of programs and exhibits will be offered over Legacy Day Weekend.

To date, the Sumner Hall Veterans Project has identified almost 1,700 African American men and women from Kent County who have served in the military, beginning in the Revolutionary War until the present day.  

We invite the community to contact us with the names of additional veterans so that we can add them to our honor roll. Please see the form below to submit information on local veterans.

The Program

August 1 – 31

  • Honoring Kent County’s Black Veterans. Exhibit at the Historical Society of Kent County – Bordley Building on High Street.
  • Black Legacies: Kent’s 1800’s Heroes. Historical Posters in store windows,
    provided by Downtown Chestertown Association.

August 11

  • Racism, Reconciliation and Reward: Experiences of Blacks in Military Life. Panel Discussion at 7:00 pm, streamed live via Sumner Hall’s Facebook page.

August 19 – 21

  • Black Legacies: Kent’s 1800’s Heroes Scavenger Hunt sponsored by the
    Downtown Chestertown Association. Prizes valued at $100 to be awarded at August 20th Dance Party.
  • African American Art Exhibit featuring African American artists, sponsored by RiverArts at its Arts Alive Studio, corner of High and North Queen Streets. August 19: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm; August 20: 12:00 am – 5:00 pm; August 21: 1:00 pm –  3:00 pm.

August 19

  • Honoring Kent County’s Black Veterans Exhibit at Bordley Center – special showing for Legacy Day 2022 honorees. 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
  • Program and Reception for honorees, including the story of creating the exhibit by Bill Leary and a reenactment talk by historian Louis Carter at Garfield Center for the Arts. 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.
  • After Party Dance Party with DJ Real on High Street, in front of the Garfield. 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm. 

August 20

  • Preserving Black History Workshop presented by the Chesapeake Heartland Project Team at Sumner Hall and streamed live via Sumner Hall’s Facebook page. 10:00 am – 11:30 am.
  • Box Luncheon for workshop participants and Legacy Day 2022 honorees at Sumner Hall. 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.
  • Black Jacksthe story of African American Sailors. Author Jeff Bolster will present the findings of his book and respond to questions at the Garfield Center for the Arts. Sponsored by Sultana Education Foundation. 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. 
  • Dedication of Aunt Sarah’s Playground. Join Town officials as they honor beloved resident Sarah Derry and officially open the new playground in Wilmer Park. 2:30 pm.
  • Fight for Freedom – Civil War 360 {Smithsonian Institution’s documentary on the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, USCT (United States Colored Troops)}. 3:00 pm.
  • Festival in Wilmer Park Begins.  Food, Craft Vendors, Information Booths, USCT Camp Site with Reenactors. 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
  • Greek Stroll Competition in Wilmer Park. Members of the “Divine Nine” will compete for a Grand Prize. 4:00 pm.
  • Opening Ceremonies in Wilmer Park. Features recognition of African American Veterans. 5:30 pm.
  • Dance Party & Band with the Comfort Zone and DJ Real. Wilmer Park. Wilmer Park at 6:30 pm.

August 21

  • Discipline, Distinction, Destiny – the role of HBCUs in the US Military and American culture. Panel Discussion streamed live via Sumner Hall’s Facebook page.  12:30 pm.
  • Interfaith Memorial Service to Honor African American Veterans of Kent County, Memorial Park, High Street, Chestertown. 2:00 pm.

The Production Team

Legacy Day 2022 is produced by Sumner Hall with the Historical Society of Kent County, Maryland and supported by our partners: Chesapeake Heartland of The Starr Center at Washington College, Chestertown RiverArts, Downtown Chestertown Association, Garfield Center for the Arts, Hedgelawn Foundation, Kent County Economic Development Office, Kent Cultural Alliance, Sultana Education Foundation, and the Town of Chestertown.


R&B – $1,000+

Charles E. Conklin, Jr.

The Peoples Bank


JAZZ – $500


Cross Street Realtors

Margie & Mickey Elsberg

Emmanuel Episcopal Church

Heron Point

Hope Fellowship

Kent County Government


BLUES – $250

Occasions Catering

David Bowering & Barbara Jorgenson

Doug Ashley Realtors

Graves Family Foundation

Kent School

Rita & Dan Premo

Gale E. Rasin

Marjo Rasin

Vanessa & Alivin Ringgold

Riverside Unique

Cynthia Saunders

Lainie & Ralph Surette


HIP HOP – $100

Janine Gray Ashbey

Barbara Bedell

Anne Bricker

Norris Commodore

Contagions Creations

David A. Bramble Inc.

Terra S. Deaton

Evergrain Bread Company

Linda & Philip Dutton

Sally S. Faulkner

Barbara & David Foster

Joan & Thomas Groce

Jon Hanley

Jane Hukill

Ellen Jacobson & Daniel Ehrenberg

Sherise Kennard

Michael Lamb

Glenn Michael

Andrew Oros & Steve Clemons

Rasin, Wootton & Hurd

Robert Ortiz Studio

Marcia & John Ramsey

Melinda Robinson & Jerome Hutchins

Cheryl & James Saunders

Lani Seikaly

Todd’s Body Shop

Beryl Smith

Beverly & Kurt Smith

Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River



Margie Baker

Jonathan Chase

Anne Keer Charles

Cochran Glass & Mirror

Genevieve Coyle

Monique Upshur Davis

Ralph J. Deaton

Sud Deringer

Dukes-Moore Insurance Agency

Lynn Gersert

Barbara in den Bosch

Sue & Simon Kenyon

Alisha R. Knight

Liminal Solutions Psychotherapy & Consulting, LLC

Tim O’Brien

Suzanne & Stephen Prentice

Jeanette Sherbondy & George Shivers


Betty Spence

The Finishing Touch

Twigs & Teacups

Dora and Larry Wilson


BEBOP – $25

Jada Aristilde

Gayle Folger

David Hoatson & Debra Hanover

Beryl Kemp

Sharon & Hayward Lunn

Carol Niemand

Caren Samuels

Legacy Day Committee

Nivek M. Johnson, Chairperson

Jamie Barrett

Sally Borghardt

Tawnese Butler 

Rev. Robert Brown

Dianne Carroll

Jana Carter

Carolyn Simone Collins

Rev Monique Davis

Terra Deaton

Mary Fisher

Peter Heck

Yvette Hynson

Barbara in den Bosch

Jane Jewell

Airlee Ringgold Johnson 

Bill Leary

Joyce Moody

Terrance Moody

Leslie Prince Raimond

Jeanette Sherbondy

George Shivers

Ruth Shoge

Vanessa Ringgold

Linda Reed

Lainie Surrette

Legacy Day is produced by Sumner Hall with the Historical Society of Kent County