Be sure to tune in to “Lifting the Veil,” the new podcast by If These Stones Could Talk authors Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills, dedicated to lifting up the unsung history of our community.

An Interview with Algernon Ward Lifting the Veil

Joining the veil today is Algernon Ward. As an African American, Algernon says that wearing the uniform of a colonial soldier is a vocation. Calling it “a privilege and a pleasure” to continue to do his part to help expose the previously ignored role that people of color, both free and slave, played in founding America, Ward himself now has a new and unique place in telling that story. Born and raised in Trenton, he regularly offers active performances as a Colonial Soldier, Civil War Soldier, or Needham Roberts, also known as the “Harlem Hellfighter” of World War I. Algernon's image is now immortalized, thanks to its inclusion in a recent painting by prominent traditional academic realist painter Don Troiani, titled “Brave Men As They Always Fought.”
  1. An Interview with Algernon Ward
  2. An Interview with Commissioner Director Shanel Y. Robinson – Part II
  3. An Interview with Shelly L. Bell, Deputy Mayor of Montgomery Township, NJ – Part II
  4. An Interview with Shelly L. Bell, Deputy Mayor of Montgomery Township, NJ
  5. An Interview with Commissioner Director Shanel Y. Robinson
This video is part of “The Stories We Tell,” a film series that illuminates undertold histories of the American Revolution, as part of a long-term partnership between Monument Lab, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the New Jersey Historical Commission, with support from Revolution NJ.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The mission of Friday Truehart Consultants is to remedy the omissions of history and the miseducation of slavery in the United States, and to acknowledge and correct how both directly impact and continue to shape the future.

Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills

In 2019 Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills formed Friday Truehart Consultants to bring awareness that there is more to American history than the single Anglo narrative. Because of the egregious omission of the African American narrative in our nation’s history books, Friday Truehart Consultants strives to see African American history built into K-12 curriculum throughout the State, and not consigned to one month out of the year during Black History Month.

Named after Beverly’s enslaved fourth great grandfather, Friday Truehart, the firm provides consulting services to schools, community groups and others who seek a better understanding of the American slave system. Friday Truehart Consultants is eager to work with educators who wish to partner in bringing a fuller educational awareness of African American history to their schools, and by doing so become change agents in their schools and communities.

Last but certainly not least, because of the numerous “aha!” moments Beverly and Elaine experienced while researching their book, If These Stones Could Talk: African American Presence in the Hopewell Valley, Sourland Mountain, and Surrounding Regions of New Jersey, Friday Truehart Consultants will also offer genealogy services to people interested in uncovering traces of their history and perhaps answer questions that have long gone unanswered.

Follow us on Facebook to read our weekly “Friday Memories” blog, and learn more about our work to uncover New Jersey history, stone by stone, in this New York Times article!

I grew up near Flemington so I was familiar with the Hopewell area. I have read a few books about African American history in New Jersey and your summary of the slavery era through the Great Migration is the best I have read. I also enjoyed the discussion of the African American community in the Hopewell-Pennington area, including the recipes. Very interesting. It shows how much life has changed over the last 60 years.

Brian Armstrong

I just finished reading “If These Stones Could Talk.” This work of art, remembrance and history is fabulous. I was stunned to know how little I knew about central New Jersey and its Afro-American history. I learned so much about slavery, segregation, land ownership, loss, injustice, survival, adaptation, and love. I was amazed at the stories of the men who had served in the Revolutionary, Civil, Spanish and World Wars.  I LOVED reading about what life was like for the authors growing up: what they ate for holidays, where they went for fun, and the extended family biographies. There aren’t enough words to applaud this achievement, for bringing history to life, and literally creating a concrete legacy that will live on.

Debbie Hobler