The Delaware County Historical Society hosted a book signing with Patrick Parr Friday, Feb. 8, as a kickoff to the new exhibit, "A Glimpse of Black History 1800s — 2019.”

An acclaimed author who has taught thousands of university students in more than 30 different countries, Parr has devoted his nonfiction work largely to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as evident in his book, "The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age," released April 2018.

An Artist Trust Fellow and University of Japan professor, Parr has had his work also appear in newspapers and magazines all over the world.

In "The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age," Parr uncovers King’s formative years that has been largely overlooked by scholars. It traces his time at Crozer Theological Seminary and his development into an orator and civil rights activist.

A description by The Washington Post reads, “King’s three years at the Crozer Theological Seminary, south of Philadelphia, marked an important turning point in his life and are well worth the exclusive focus they get in this compact, readable and well-researched book. [Parr] leave[s] readers with a memorable image. As classmates passed King’s room in ‘Old Main,’ the imposing central building on the Crozer campus, they often heard him rehearsing the delivery of the verse from the Book of Amos that he would invoke again and again over the next two decades, up to the impassioned ‘Mountaintop’ speech he gave the night before his death.”

Coinciding with the book signing was Delaware County Historical Society’s launch of “A Glimpse of Black History 1800s — 2019.”

This new exhibit displays pictures, articles and books that DCHS owns as part of its research library and museum. The collection is limited, as DCHS only has what residents have donated to it.

No narrative is provided in the display, as the exhibit’s focus is to present black history and invite visitors to tell their own story and to interpret the display based on their own history.

"A Glimpse of Black History 1800s — 2019" is on display at the Delaware County Historical Society, 408 Avenue of the States in Chester.

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