Legacy Day 2020

Legacy Day 2020 Goes Virtual!

August 15 was the date selected for Legacy Day 2020 when we had planned to honor Kent County’s Outstanding African American Athletes of the 20th Century with a special exhibition, parade, a genealogy workshop, Gospel concert, food, and craft vendors and dancing in the street. However, essential social distancing requirements imposed by the coronavirus pandemic have caused the Legacy Day Committee to make the painful decision to postpone these festivities until August 2021 and make Legacy Day 2020 a virtual experience.

We are adapting to this new reality by preparing several programs that will be available on Sumner Hall’s Website, Facebook, and YouTube in August. We invite everyone to enjoy our planned Virtual Legacy Day 2020 Festivities, including:

  • a genealogy presentation via Zoom, by staff members of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, focused on conducting genealogical research on African American ancestors;
  • a video previewing next year’s salute to our outstanding African American Athletes;
  • a community conversation hosted on Zoom by the Kohl Gallery of Washington College on Legacies of Education and the Black Experience in Kent County and at Washington College; and
  • a live streaming special featuring DJ Real so we can party and dance to soulful music while observing physical distance in this COVID-19 Era.

We want to offer a special vote of appreciation to our sponsors!  They will be listed on Sumner Hall’s Website between now and Legacy Day 2021 and on outside banners next year.

Legacy Day started seven years ago as a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of African Americans in Kent County. It has become an established community-wide party in mid-August where a thousand or more people gather in downtown Chestertown to recognize their shared history and have a good time doing it. The primary attraction has always been great live music and dancing on High Street. Attendees also enjoy food, drink, and craft vendors; a parade; and a special exhibition at the Bordley History Center. Over the years Legacy Day has expanded to include a genealogy workshop, a gospel concert, a reception for honorees, an exhibit of African American artists, and a variety of children’s activities.

In years past we have honored the Uptown Club and its owner Charlie Graves, local African American musicians, African American entrepreneurs, African American educators who taught in segregated schools, and the students who integrated the county’s school system. Last year we honored 24 African American churches founded in Kent County at least 125 years ago.

Please tune in this year for our virtual Legacy Day 2020.  Do check our website for updates.  We look forward to welcoming everyone in person next year!

Legacy Day is produced by volunteers and funded by our sponsors – allowing us to provide the programs to the entire community free of charge. On Legacy Day 2021, all sponsors will be recognized on large banners hanging at Sumner Hall and at the Bordley History Center. They will also be acknowledged at the Recognition Reception and receive complimentary Sumner Hall Memberships. To become a sponsor, please: click here.


Legacy Day 2020 &2021

R&B – $1000

Nina Houghton

Blues – $250

Chesapeake Bank & Trust
Peggy & John Christie
Lainie & Ralph Surette
Wolin Family Tzedakah Fund

Ragtime – $50

Margie Baker
Phyllis & Roger Brown
Glenn Michael
Marlene & Robert Moores

Jazz – $500

Margie & Mickey Elsberg

Hip Hop – $100

Anne Bricker
Genevieve & Joseph Coyle
Anne Keer Charles
Linda & Philip Dutton
Barbara & David Foster
Richard Hall
Rita & Dan Premo

Bebop – $25

Gayle Folge

For further information, contact Legacy Day 2020 Co-Chairpersons:
Airlee Ringgold – Johnson (airleej@gmail.com / 410-778-4079) or
Nivek Johnson (nivekjohnson@sumnerhall.org / 443-480-0986)