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Lorraine Stone Appears as Harriet Tubman at Black History Month Celebration

United Methodist Communities (UMC) at The Wesleyan celebrates Black History month annually.

Red Bank, NJ, March 04, 2020 --( United Methodist Communities (UMC) at The Wesleyan celebrates Black History month annually - 2020 was no exception. Lorraine Stone reenacted the life of a remarkable cook, nurse, slave, political activist, suffragette, armed scout, liberator, abolitionist, spy, founder of a retirement home, and devout Methodist. That extraordinarily courageous, five-foot-tall, historical legend is Harriet Tubman.

Kicking off the celebration, Gertrude Kehleay, housing administrator of UMC at The Wesleyan welcomed attendees, and introduced special guests and UMC associates. Ms. Kehleay, a native of Liberia, also acknowledged the late Frances Daniels, a former resident who birthed their Black History Month celebration. Resident Ruth Henderson delivered a blessing. Her daughter, Karen Henderson, led the group in several songs including Lift Every Voice and Sing, accompanied by William Henry, pianist.

Ms. Stone, who has a career in African-American stage plays and re-enacting historical female heroes, brought the persona of Harriet Tubman alive to a diverse group of older adults assembled in The Wesleyan’s Community Room. The senior community, located in downtown Red Bank, celebrates Black History month annually to re-inforce American democratic ideals, teach forgotten history and pay tribute to notable African-Americans.

A resident of Eatontown, Ms. Stone brought Tubman, born in Maryland around 1820, to life. Donning clothing typical of a 19th century slave, she recalled not only the major events of Tubman’s life, but her feelings, social attitudes, and the legal and political forces.

Despite great odds, including abuse, forced labor, and a traumatic head injury, Tubman risked her life in pursuit of equality and social justice. After escaping to her own freedom in 1849, she focused on liberating others. Ms. Stone reminded the audience that Tubman joined the Union Army during the Civil War and is recognized as the first woman to lead an armed expedition.

Ms. Stone, who also performs poems by deceased black poets, has gained regional recognition. Described as the quintessential character actress, she frequently appears solo at schools, churches, historical societies and libraries.

About United Methodist Communities at The Wesleyan
The United Methodist Church of Red Bank and Shrewsbury Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church partnered with United Methodist Communities to construct The Wesleyan. Funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Monmouth County Home Program brought this 60-unit residential senior community to life. The first residents took occupancy in October 1998. For additional information about The Wesleyan, call 732-936-0760 or visit

About United Methodist Communities
United Methodist Communities is a not-for-profit organization guided by a volunteer board of directors affiliated in ministry with the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey. The mission of the United Methodist Communities is compassionately serving in community so that all are free to choose abundant life.

With over 111 years of continuous operation, the organization has grown to nine communities offering independent, residential and assisted living; Tapestries® Memory Care; respite; rehabilitation; long-term care; Bridges Hospice and Palliative Care; affordable senior housing; and case management, live-in and in-home personal care through HomeWorks.

For additional information about United Methodist Communities, visit
Contact Information
United Methodist Communities
Jan Carrato
732-922-9800, 800-352-6521

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