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Bright April exhibit at Germantown Historical Society. 10:30 am

Tuesday, August 6, 2024, 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC-05:00)
Germantown Historical Society
5501 Germantown Ave.

Additional Info:
Members and their guests
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Registration cancellations will be accepted
Cancellation Policy:
If you cannot come, please email any time, or call 267-444-4507 Mon-Fri, 9 AM to 5 PM.
Available Slots:
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Tour of Bright April Exhibit

Germantown Historical Society

5501 Germantown Avenue

Tuesday, August 6

10:30 am

For Village members and their guests. Register here or call 267-444-4507

In 1946, Marguerite de Angeli, a Philadelphia author and illustrator, published Bright April. This groundbreaking book was the first mainstream children’s book about a Black child experiencing racial prejudice. In May, 2023, the Germantown Historical Society opened Inspiring Bright April: Race and Class in 1940’s Germantown, an exhibit about the book and its author.

Barbara Dowdall, one of the exhibit’s curators, said that de Angeli “first proposed writing about a Black child in 1940, but her publishing company thought that would be too controversial.” Barbara will lead our tour of the exhibit.

Becky Birtha, a poet and author of three children’s books, was struck by the way April’s parents explained prejudice to the nine-year-old girl. Birtha said the book’s discussions about race were considered quite radical. De Angeli interviewed a number of Black teachers and other professionals she met in Germantown, including Nellie Rathbone Bright, the principal of the segregated Joseph E. Hill School and a Black Girl Scout leader.

The exhibit’s introductory film includes an interview with Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, who said Bright April was her favorite book as a child and had inspired her passion for reading.

There are several steps into the building. If you need the handicapped ramp, email 

There is no admission fee but a contribution to the Historical Society would be welcomed.