What follows are just a few of the events happening in New Bedford this week. For more events, visit our arts and culture calendar. And learn how to get your event listed here. We want to hear from you.


Fireworks over New Bedford.
Photo by David W. Oliveira
9 p.m. Monday, July 5

New Bedford fireworks display — POSTPONED UNTIL MONDAY

Independence Day fireworks will return to New Bedford’s State Pier this year with a waterfront pyrotechnics display launched from a barge in New Bedford Harbor. The best viewing sites in the downtown area will be from Lower Union Street (east of Water Street), which will be closed to vehicle traffic.


Poster promoting Gallery X Moby show.
5-8 p.m. Saturday, July 3

Melville’s wondrous depths

Those who live in New Bedford can’t escape Herman Melville’s 170-year-old epic “Moby-Dick.” References to it are everywhere. It’s seeped into the unconscious of the place, and still we can’t get enough of it. So it’s fitting a Gallery X show opening Saturday collects art inspired by what’s perhaps the city’s most beloved book (aside from Frederick Douglass’s “Narrative”). “The Moby Show” runs through Melville’s birthday, which, you might well know if you grew up around here, is Aug. 1.

Through Nov. 14
Ruth Carter.

Uncommon Threads: The works of Ruth E. Carter

You’re probably familiar with Academy Award-winning Ruth E. Carter’s work. Think Radio Raheem’s iconic “LOVE” and “HATE” rings in “Do the Right Thing” and the scene-stealing Afrofuturistic fashion in “Black Panther.” An exhibit at New Bedford Art Museum features costumes designed by Carter from “Dolemite Is My Name,” “Roots” (2016 reboot), “Selma,” “Do the Right Thing,” and “Malcolm X,” as well as sketches, mood boards, and other ephemera from her studio.


Line of cars decked out in flags and Cape Verdean colors.
Via Facebook
6 p.m. Monday, June 28; 1 p.m. Saturday, July 3

Raise the flag, dance, and deck out your car 

While there won’t be a Cape Verdean parade in New Bedford this year, the Cape Verdean Recognition Committee is still marking the republic’s independence from Portugal with music, entertainment, and raising the flag at City Hall on June 28.

In addition, the committee is organizing the Cape Verdean Independence Car Caravan on the 3rd. The convoy will leave from Buttonwood Park and end at the Cape Verdean Vets Hall. Decorate your car and you could win a prize.


Tickets to Zerui Depina show at the Morna.
Via Instagram
8 p.m. Friday, July 2

Zerui Depina at the Morna

Singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Zerui Depina will play the music of Cape Verde at the Morna on Acushnet Avenue. Music from the islands comes in a variety of genres and Depina is known as a master of many including the type from which the venue takes its name — morna, a bluesy, nostalgic style often referred to as the “soul of Cape Verde.” Spaces are limited, and reservations required. A buffet dinner is included in the ticket price.


6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 1

‘This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn…’

Frederick Douglass.

In an Independence Day speech in 1852, abolitionist Frederick Douglass famously asked, “What, to the slave, is your Fourth of July?” 

Douglass’s electrifying words calling out the hypocrisy of white America celebrating freedom amid slavery will ring out in the Seamen’s Bethel Thursday when the Historical Society hosts a community reading. If you’d like to read, call 508-979-8828 or email info@historicalsociety.org

The NAACP published the full speech, which includes Douglass’s eloquent answer to his own question.

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; A day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”

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