Yankee Baleeiros—A Shared Heritage
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is sharing the Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) experiences with a wider audience through the installation of traveling exhibits across the country. Yankee Baleeiros—A Shared Heritage is an engaging in depth exploration of Azorean and Cape Verdean experience in the United States, focusing on the 19th century New Bedford whaling industry as the catalyst for immigrant opportunity.
Last fall (2013), the Museum brought a portion of this exhibit to the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS) Annual Leadership Conference in San Diego, California. The free-standing exhibit provided a glimpse into the interwoven relationship between the Azores and Yankee Whaling using historic photographs from our collection. Building upon the success of the exhibit installation in California, the Museum is working closely with our Cape Verdean and Portuguese Advisory Committees to develop the next phases of Yankee Baleeiros.
In late April, 2014 the Museum will unveil a new traveling exhibit in partnership with the St. Peter’s Teen Center and Cape Verdean Community UNIDO. The St. Peter's Teen Center, located in Dorchester, Massachusetts, will provide a space for the local Cape Verdean community to engage in an in-depth exploration of their ancestral past and cultural present while sharing their history with other visitors. To complement the exhibit the Center will host historical and artistic programs throughout April vacation week. Yankee Baleeiros - A Shared Heritage will invite visitors to examine Cape Verdean American stories and consider the role of the whaling industry as a catalyst for immigrant opportunity. The immigration experience of Cape Verdean Americans presents an exceptional opportunity to explore the meaning of American identity, the spirit of perseverance, and the role of race from the 19th century to the present.
After an appearance at the State Pier during the return of the Charles W. Morgan this summer Yankee Baleeiros will be installed at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park for the rest of 2014.