Celebrating Black History Month.

Award Winning Program for Excellence in History & Education Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

This program is proudly presented by the Friends of Abraham Staats House, Inc., in conjunction with the South Bound Brook Historic Preservation Advisory Commission.

The annual event, held each February in honor of Black History Month, celebrates the contribution and sacrifices of Afro-Americans in the foundation of our nation. The featured presenter is Mr. Joseph Becton, retired National Park Service Interpretive Park Ranger, recognized with the Community Service award for setting a standard of excellence in interpretation and for his role in connecting Americans to our national parks.

Schedule

Joseph Becton performing “Chester” at the 2024 Tory Jack Day

Celebrating Black History Month ~ 2023 

The Abraham Staats House Presents “Tory Jack Day”

An Award-Winning Program for Excellence in History & Education ~
Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

The Friends of Abraham Staats House and South Bound Brook Historic Preservation Advisory Commission are delighted to once again present the “Tory Jack Day” program at the Abraham Staats House.

This annual event, held each February in honor of Black History Month, celebrates the contribution and sacrifices of Afro-Americans in the foundation of our nation.

This year we have two featured presentations:

  • 9:30AM: Welcome – Somerset County Commission Director Shanel Y. Robinson
  • 9:35AM: Award-winning author Cindy Williams Newsome discusses her recently published book: Hobbstown:  The Forgotten Legacy of a Unique African American Community.”
  • 11AM: Our featured performer at the event for two decades, Joe Becton, renowned historian and former National Park Service Interpretive Specialist, is joined by his brother for a special presentation, “The Becton Brothers’ Musical Walk Through History.”  Joe Becton sets a standard of excellenc connecting Americans to our historic past through his inspiring narrative and music.

We are offering two options for attending.  When you register for a ticket, you may select either:    In-Person     OR     Remote (via Zoom) 

The in-person seating is limited; house opens 9AM, programs begins at 9:30AM. After, tour the historic Abraham Staats House until 1:30PM. Light refreshments.

For Zoom, the event will be open at 9AM to give time for people to join the event before the program begins at 9:30AM.

Admission for all: FREE~!!!. ***To guarantee seating, advance reservations are encouraged for those attending in-person.***  To Register for in-person or Zoom attendance, click on “Tickets.”

Joe Becton - Tory Jack Day 2013The Friends of Abraham Staats House and South Bound Brook Historic Preservation Advisory Commission are delighted to bring back the live “Tory Jack Day” program at the Abraham Staats House.

This annual event, held each February in honor of Black History Month, celebrates the contribution and sacrifices of Afro-Americans in the foundation of our nation. The featured presenter is Mr. Joseph Becton, retired National Park Service Interpretive Park Ranger.  Mr. Becton has set a standard of excellence in connecting Americans to historic sites and national parks through his inspiring narrative and music.

This year the program, “USCT US Colored Troops & Juneteenth,” offers Joe’s unique presentation on the United States Colored Troops ~ Civil War to Reconstruction.

Seating limited; house opens 10:30AM, program begins at 11AM. After, tour the historic Abraham Staats House until 1:30PM. Light refreshments.  This year’s program will also offer the option to view the program remotely via Zoom.

At the Abraham Staats House, we have long enjoyed hosting our Tory Jack Day event each February, in commemoration of the lives and contributions of the enslaved and freed blacks who were part of the Staats’ family household, and offering with each annual event, information about how African Americans played a part in American’s evolution as a nation.  This year,  our Tory Jack Day program is on hiatus, due to ongoing COVID restrictions.  We look forward to resuming the program next year.

Instead, this year we are proud to debut a special video produced for the Abraham Staats House.  The short video  “The Old Kitchen at the Abraham Staats House:  A Window into Slavery in New Jersey,” not only provides a visual access to the Old Kitchen and Slave Quarters above the kitchen, but gives a glimpse into the reality of slavery in New Jersey and the lives of the enslaved people who were part of the living history of the homestead, during the 18th and 19th century.

This video was created by Stepping Stone Strategies made possible by funds from the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission, a partner of the New Jersey Historical Commission and funds from the Borough of South Bound Brook.

The Friends of Abraham Staats House and South Bound Brook Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, presents the 18th edition of the award winning “Tory Jack Day” program on February 8, 2020. The program, “Nothing but the Blues,”, featuring performer Joseph Becton , playing and singing his favorite blues song and composers.  You have never heard him like this since the Cobalt Blues band.  He has played guitar and harmonica for 40 years.  Group participation is encouraged.

Mr. Becton, retired National Park Service Interpretive Park Ranger and owner of Joe Becton Tours and Historical Services (Certified Master Guide/Assoc. of Philadelphia Tour Guides), is recognized for setting a standard of excellence in interpretation and in connecting Americans to our national parks through narrative and music.

Ticket are available on Eventbrite – Tickets

Click here for the Tory Jack Day flyer