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Posts Tagged ‘Black History Month’

Civil rights protesters march down a Raleigh street in 1963. This image was taken by the New & Observer and is part of the Civil Rights

Civil rights protesters march down a Raleigh street in 1963.
This image was taken by the New & Observer and is part of
the Civil Rights Movement Collection

As Black History Month winds down, the State Archives of North Carolina has two great new resources related to African American history that you won’t want to miss.

  • The African American Education Collection of the Archives’ digital collections has actually been around for a while, but what’s new are a whole host of materials related to Rosenwald Schools. The Rosenwald rural school building program was a major effort to improve the quality of public education for African Americans in the early 20th century South. You can learn more about the movement here and see those cool new resources here.
  • The Archives’ Civil Rights Movement Collection is totally new. This group of materials includes letters, speeches, reports, booklets, photographs, news clippings and more related to a number of topics associated with the Civil Rights movement in North Carolina 1950s to the 1970s. Though the emphasis is on state agency records, there’s much be discovered and you can start taking a look around here.

If this is your first exposure to the North Carolina Digital Collections, a joint project of the State Archives and State Library, don’t let it be your last. The collections house an endless amount of cool stuff from our state’s past from audio recordings of the General Assembly’s debates on the Speak Ban Law to letters from the Civil War.

You can browse all of the digital collections here.

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Join the State Capitol Saturday as its hosts local authors and leaders for an African American Read-In to celebrate Black History Month

Performances of slave narratives in Durham, a meet-and-greet with North Carolina artists in Raleigh and celebrations of African American music in Elizabeth City are just a few of the opportunities for family fun you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend kicks off Thursday morning in Raleigh, when staff from the N.C. Museum of History will read the stories Shoes and Alligator Shoes and take kids for a visit to one of the museum’s galleries. In the evening, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will show the film Sign Painters, while Tryon Palace in New Bern will present a musical lecture by the vocalist from 12 Years a Slave. Historic Bath will also screen a movie on the life of Jackie Robinson, while Aycock Birthplace in Fremont will present a lecture on Rosenwald Schools at Wayne Community College.

Friday, SECCA will host a lecture by Andrew Blauvelt, one of the organizers of its Graphic Design: Now in Production exhibition in Winston-Salem. In Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of Art will show the film Chico and Rita; offer the chance to explore the museum’s galleries at night with food, wine and live music; and host a meet-and-greet with North Carolina artists.

Saturday, Raleigh will be abuzz with activity as

In Elizabeth City, the Museum of the Albemarle will also offer African American music programs in the morning and evening, and a program on Rosenwald Schools in the afternoon.

Saturday also marks the opening of two new exhibits. Our travelling exhibit of artifacts from Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge will make its debut at Reed Gold Mine in Midland, while Cedars in the Pines, an exhibit exploring North Carolina’s Lebanese heritage will open at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

Sunday, the weekend wraps up with the opening of Bull City Summer, a multimedia exhibition at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh centering around Durham’s legendary baseball team and performances by African American choirs and the chance to meet local African American collectors at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City.

Several programs will also be offered throughout the weekend:

This weekend is also your last chance to see the Graphic Design: Now in Production exhibition at SECCA in Winston-Salem.

For more information on these and other events, please visit NCCulture.com.

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Small arms demonstrations will be just one part of action
at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson this weekend

The weekend fun starts Thursday, when the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh presents another installment of its popular kids program, Storytime in the Gallery. This week’s edition will start with a reading of Aunt Flossie’s Hats and also include a visit to one of the museum’s exhibit and a few related, touchable objects. At the same time, the N.C. Museum of Art, also in Raleigh, will host a hands-on program for preschoolers.

Friday, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will put on a lunchtime lecture on the hearts of whales just in time for Valentine’s Day and screen the documentary Wood/Sails/Dreams, while the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will show the film Desire and give visitors the chance to explore the museum’s galleries at night with food, wine and live music.

Civil War torpedo demonstrations will be one of the many highlights of Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson’s naval living history program Saturday in Winnabow, while just a few miles up the Cape Fear River, the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington will offer tours focusing on its firepower. Back in Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of History will host a short play on North Carolina’s gold rush and give kids the chance to learn about African American history while making a craft. Farther west, the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer will offer behind-the-scenes tours of its historic property complete with a special Q&A session with aviation and rail volunteers.

The weekend wraps up Sunday when the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will screen The Loving Story as part of its series of documentaries on civil rights.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will play concerts of pieces inspired by Romeo and Juliet in Southern Pines and Raleigh. The Symphony is teaming up with N.C. Museum of History to offer discount tickets to these and other concerts. Click here for more information. This weekend is also your last chance to see the Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge traveling exhibit at Tryon Palace in New Bern.

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Sec. Kluttz and Deputy Sec. Kevin Cherry with basket maker Dale Thomas. Thomas is holding an example of his art, a oak-split basket.

Sec. Kluttz and Deputy Sec. Kevin Cherry with basket maker Neal Thomas. Thomas is holding an example of his art, an oak-split basket.

Craftsmen practicing their trades, musicians singing the songs of the past and chefs serving up traditional foods were just a few of the sights and sounds Cultural Resources Sec. Susan Kluttz and thousands of others experienced late last month at the N.C. Museum  of History’s 13th Annual African American Cultural Celebration.

The event, which serves as the state’s kickoff to Black History Month each year, is perennial favorite. Between basket maker Neal Thomas and the endless of procession of bands and other performers, it was easy for the secretary to see why.

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources is offering a number of events and digital resources to help you celebrate black history this February. Click here for more information. Click here to see more photos of the event.

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It’ll be a blast from the past this weekend in Elizabeth City, as the Museum of the Albemarle puts on its annual Civil War Living History program

A Civil War living history in Elizabeth City, stargazing at Stagville and celebrations of African American music in Cary and Raleigh are just a few of the opportunities for family fun you’ll find with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources this weekend.

The fun kicks off Thursday with another installment of the N.C. Museum of History’s popular Storytime in Gallery series for kids ages 3 and up in Raleigh, and continues Friday when the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City will reopen its exhibit on Coast Guard aviation and Historic Stagville in Durham teams up with Morehead Planetarium to offer an astronomy program featuring tales from African folklore.

Also Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will screen the film They Drive by Night in addition to hosting more installments of its Art in the Evening and Friday Night Sound Bites series. The former gives visitors the chance to explore the museum’s galleries at night with food, wine and live music, while the later is a docent-led in-depth exploration of one item in the museum’s collection.

Saturday, the action shifts back to the coast, where the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City will host a Civil War living history day complete with costumed interpreters, cannon firing and demonstrations of life on the home front, and the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport will also offer a Valentine’s Day-themed craft for kids and families. Back in the Triangle, the N.C. Museum of History will give an African American-themed tour of its exhibits, while the N.C. Museum of Art will give families the chance to create an abstract painting together. Both events will be in Raleigh.

The weekend fun wraps up Sunday with a celebration of African American music. The N.C. Museum of History will present a free concert by Ben Payton and the Blues in Raleigh, while the N.C. Arts Council will host jazz vocalist Sherry Winston at the Barnes & Noble in Cary to celebrate the release of the African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina book. The N.C. Museum of Art will also screen the documentary In So Many Words.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will play concerts of music by Russian composers in WilmingtonRaleigh and Chapel Hill.

For more information on these and other events, please visit NCCulture.com.

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Wire artist Jonathan Daniel will demonstrate his craft at the 13th Annual African American Cultural Celebration Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History

Wire artist Jonathan Daniel will demonstrate his craft at
the 13th Annual African American Cultural Celebration Saturday
at the N.C. Museum of History

Film screenings, concerts and a celebration of African American history and culture are just a few of the opportunities for family fun you’ll find this weekend at our historic sites and museums.

The fun starts tonight, when the Museum of the Cape Fear will present its annual Civil War Quiz Bowl at Methodist University in Fayetteville, and continues Friday when the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City hosts a craft program for kids. Also Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will host more installments in its Art in the Evening and Friday Night Sound Bites series in addition to a screening of the film Night on Earth.

North Carolina’s celebration of Black History Month will officially kick off Saturday in Raleigh, when the N.C. Museum of History presents musicians, storytellers, dancers, historians, chefs and other guests who help define and work for civil rights as part of its annual African American Cultural Celebration. Other activities in the Piedmont include an astronomy program at Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead and a volunteer work day at Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks.

On the coast Saturday, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will offer a traditional boatbuilding carpentry class and host a meeting of the Carolina Maritime Model Society, while the Museum of the Albemarle (again, in Elizabeth City) will host a living history program complete with historic activities and games and the dedication of a Revolutionary War historical marker.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will play concerts of Dvořák’s 7th Symphony in Wilmington and Raleigh, while the N.C. Museum of Art hosts a “Hoods Up” weekend in its Porsche by Design exhibition in Raleigh.

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A desegregated bus after the Swann decision. Image from The Economist

A desegregated bus after the Swann decision. Image from The Economist

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina’s black history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit from our state’s African American’s past.

In 1965, attorney Julius L. Chambers filed suit on behalf of ten pairs of African American parents. The suit—Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education –contended that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education’s assignment plan did not sufficiently eliminate the inequalities of the formerly segregated system.

Though the board tried to redo the assignment plan and the district appeared desegregated, the plaintiffs argued decades of discrimination could only be undone through extensive busing. Federal district court judge James B. McMillan agreed.

Disagreements between the board and McMillan on the specifics of the plan landed the case in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reaffirmed McMillian’s decision with qualifications.

The school board and plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which unanimously reaffirmed the ruling in April 1971. The case remained unresolved until July 1975, when McMillan was satisfied that the burden of busing was equally shared between blacks and whites.

Though initially quite divisive in the community, many Mecklenburg residents eventually began to take pride in their new schools, and some observers have linked the city’s growth and prosperity in the 1980s to the school board’s continued commitment to full integration.

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Image courtesy of Ricky Stilely Photography.

Image courtesy of Ricky Stillely Photography.

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina’s black history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit from our state’s African American’s past.

In the summer of 1978, a trucking company began to discreetly dump liquid contaminated with PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) along 240 miles of roads in 14 rural North Carolina counties at night. The state quickly responded by constructing a landfill to bury the toxic waste on land purchased from a Warren County farmer.

What seemed to be an expeditious response to a problem soon became more complicated. Most people in the area drew drinking water from wells and the water table was only 10 feet below the surface. Warren County also had the highest percentage of African American residents in the state and was one of the poorest.

Local civil rights activists and residents soon joined together with national groups like the NAACP and United Church of Christ to protest the landfill. The protesters believed that the landfill would undermine local economic development and heath, and that the community lacked the power to prevent hazardous waste facilities from being placed in their neighborhoods.

The demonstrations soon gained national attention and the landfill site was eventually detoxified. The fight is now widely credited as the genesis of the environmental justice movement in America and signaled a change in the way the public thinks about environmental issues.

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Anna J. Cooper

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina’s black history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit from our state’s African American’s past.

Educator, writer, activist and feminist Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, was born about 1858 in Raleigh. Her mother was a slave and her father was her mother’s master, and she enrolled at St. Augustine’s Normal School and Collegiate Institute at the age of 10.

Cooper taught at the college level for three years before being awarded a M.A. in mathematics from Oberlin College and moving to Washington, D.C. to teach at prestigious high schools. There she honed her writing and oratory skills as an advocate for gender and racial equality and progress.

Considered the first book-length feminist analysis of the condition of African Americans, Cooper’s 1892 A Voice from the South was a collection of essays that addressed a range of topics including education, segregation, woman suffrage, poverty and the portrayal of African-Americans in literature. Gaining international acclaim for her writings and speeches, Cooper always used her renown to enhance advocacy for social change.

Through her publications, lectures, work in education and community activism, Cooper is credited not with originating, but advancing and providing firm foundation for the black feminist movement. She was featured on a postal stamp in 2009.

Read more about Cooper’s life in Women of Distinction available in the digital collections of the State Archives and State Library.

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SNCC

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina’s black history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit from our state’s African American’s past.

On Easter weekend 1960, about 150 student leaders from ten states met at Shaw University in Raleigh for a conference on nonviolent resistance to segregation in the South. The meeting took place just two months after the Woolworth sit-ins in Greensboro had launched a nationwide protest effort.

At the urging of its interim executive director, Ella Baker, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) hosted the conference to unite student activists who had been newly energized by the sit-in movement. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) grew out of those efforts. Though initiated by the SCLC, SNCC remained student-directed and student-driven at Baker’s insistence.

Following a 1961 U.S. Supreme Court decision ending segregation in the transportation industry, SNCC members confronted violent opposition from locals while working as Freedom Riders on buses that carried integrated groups through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. SNCC activists also played a key role in the 1963 March on Washington and constituted the “shock troops” and frontline leaders during the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964.

Duke scholar John Hope Franklin called them “probably the most courageous and the most selfless” workers of the civil rights movement. 

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