News Release

Laurie E. Bick-Jensen
Director, Public Relations
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720
(302) 295-1164

Local Historians Eugene and Teal Petty to Attend "Tasting Freedom" Black History Month Book Signing Event

As part of Wilmington University's Black History Month celebration, area history preservationists Eugene and Teal Petty will be on hand at the New Castle campus for the book signing "meet and greet" with Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel R. Biddle, co-author of Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America. The event will take place on February 6, 2013, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Pratt Student Center. Food and beverages will be provided. Tasting Freedom, co-written by Murray Dubin, has received much critical acclaim for excellent writing and historical accuracy. 

The Petty’s are renown local pioneers in the preservation of Delaware's black heritage. They are recognized for their perseverance in the renovation of The Buttonwood School in New Castle, Delaware, a school for black children from 1924-1955. The school has been restored with aid from local leaders. The staff of the University's Robert C. and Dorothy M. People's Library also assisted in the project by scanning and preserving many of the original photos and documents from the school into digital format.

“This couple has shepherded the Buttonwood School project through thick and thin for many years. It is quite an honor to have them attend our Black History event,” said library director, James McCloskey.

For those who are interested and/or planning to attend, the campus bookstore has copies of Tasting Freedom in stock and available for purchase.  

About Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit university committed to providing flexible, career-oriented traditional and online undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs and offering small class sizes, individualized attention and affordable tuition. For more information, contact Wilmington University at 302-356-INFO (4636), via email or visit our web site at

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013 - New Castle, DE