Ethnic Heritage Museum salutes the ‘Divine Nine’ Jan. 28-29

Staff Report

Rockford’s Ethnic Heritage Museum (EHM) will host a two-day celebration of Black History Month Jan. 28-29. The celebration will pay tribute to the “Divine Nine.”

The Divine Nine are the first nine historically Greek-letter African-American fraternities and sororities. The exhibit will showcase how these service organizations of college-educated men and women impacted the community in areas from youth development, education, scholarship, health awareness and social action.

To kick off the celebration, the museum is hosting an Italian Buffet dinner and Step Show exhibition at Burpee Center/Regent’s Hall at Rockford College starting at 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28. The Step Show will feature both graduate and undergraduate members.

Tickets for the Italian Dinner/Step Show celebration are $35 for adults and $15 for students. College students are required to present an ID. To purchase a ticket for the dinner, contact David Ruffin at, Fay Muhammad at or call the museum (815) 962-7402.

The “Divine Nine” exhibit will be unveiled at EHM, 1129 S. Main St., from 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 29. Light refreshments will be served.

EHM is unique in its blend of ethnic groups — African-American, Italian, Lithuanian, Irish, Polish and Hispanic. A visit to each of the six galleries will enlighten visitors of the cultural history of each of these groups. Group tours can be arranged by contacting the museum at (815) 962-7402 or e-mailing The museum is handicap accessible.

The “Salute to the Divine Nine” exhibit will be on display at EHM every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. from Jan. 29 to April 29. Admission is free to the public, but donations are appreciated.

Visit for more details.

From the Jan. 11-17, 2012, issue

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