New Book Published About Ebenezer Bassett
Cover of new book by Mary Mycek, Marian O'Keefe and Carolyn Ivanoff
Ebenezer Bassett, the first native born black man to be appointed as Ambassador (Minister Resident) to a foreign country by a United States President has a new biography and educational materials published by local historians. Mary J. Mycek, Marian K. O'Keefe and Carolyn B. Ivanoff collaborated on the project which not only includes Bassett's biography, but also a companion teacher and student resource guide will be distributed to schools in the area just in time for Black History Month.
Mycek, O'Keefe and Ivanoff working as the Valley Historical Research Committee brought the book to furition. O'Keefe began researching Bassett's story in 2004 and began exploring the possibility of a book with Mycek in 2006. In 2007 Ivanoff, who is a housemaster at the Shelton Intermediate School and a former history teacher, joined them in expanding the project to include the educational materials. The book was officially published in 2008, the hundredth anniversary of Bassett's death.
Bassett was the subject of one of the first Derby History Quizzes. He was subsequently named to the first group of inductees into the Derby Hall of Fame. In 2007, the city also named a new street after him.