WHEELING, W.Va. – A Civil War scholar will present “African American Contributions to the American Civil War” at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11, 2011, at West Virginia Independence Hall.

Wilkes Kinney has been researching African Americans’ role in the Civil War since 1977, and is a Civil War instructor at West Liberty University’s Community University program.

Kinney’s presentation will be followed by a showing of the film “Glory,” which tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Colored Regiment during the Civil War.

The program is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Travis Henline, site manager at WVIH, at (304) 238-1300 or email him at

West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market streets in Wheeling.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.