Posts Tagged ‘African Americans’

February is Black History Month, and there’s so much to do across the Tar Heel State to celebrate. Here are eight things we have on our bucket list this month that you should try, too:

1. Step back in time to and “meet” a few members of North Carolina’s 1868 first black caucus at the State Capitol in Raleigh.




2. Discover North Carolina’s rich African American music tradition with the African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina.




3. Browse through the hundreds of photographs, bible records, genealogies, legal documents and other primary materials related to African American life and civil rights available online through the North Carolina Digital Collections.




4. Visit one of the several state historic sites that have strong African American stories to tell.




5. Explore the work of Minnie Evans, Romare Bearden and other noted African American artists at the N.C. Museum of Art.


BEARDEN, New Orleans Ragging Home, 95_3


6. Take a tour of Historic Edenton as seen through the eyes of well-known abolitionist and author Harriet Jacobs.




7. Get a broad overview or dive deep into a specific topic of African American history in North Carolina with a book from North Carolina Historical Publications.




8. Discover the stories of your African American ancestors with an index of online resources and workshop offered by the State Library.



Be sure and check out the Black History Month page on our website for more great resources and events related to Black History Month.

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As we pause today to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement he helped lead, we wanted to highight a few items from our collections that showcase some of the connections King had a to Tar Heel State.

1.  A color comic book that tells the story of King and his work in Montgomery, Ala., now part of the N.C. Museum of History’s collection


2. A 1962 telegram from King to then Gov. Terry Sanford requesting help in getting prisoners in Edenton released, now part of the State Archives’ collection


3. A photo of King giving a speech at N.C. Central University in Durham in 1966, now part of the State Archives’ collection


4. A button advertising King’s July 1966 speech at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, now part of the N.C. Museum of History’s collection

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5. A photo of King at a rally in Durham in 1958, now part of the State Archives’ collection


6. A 1962 memo from a senior member of the State Highway Patrol to Terry Sanford detailing King’s recent visit to North Carolina and the police protection he received, now in the collection of the State Archives


Other resources related to King and North Carolina’s rich civil rights heritage that are worth checking out include:

1.  The story of King “rehearsing” his “I Have A Dream” speech at a Rocky Mount church and other civil rights-related posts on our This Day in N.C. History blog

2. A Change is Gonna Come, an online exhibit on civil rights from the N.C. Museum of History

3. The Virtual MLK Project from N.C. State University

Check out the North Carolina Digital Collections and our online collections database to discover more primary materials from North Carolina’s past.

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Join Historic Stagville for a celebration of blues and gospel music Saturday

A new multimedia exhibit in Winston-Salem, storytelling from the Jim Crow South in New Bern and a festival of African American music in Durham 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 with two great programs for kids. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will showcase art made by kids at a local children’s hospital and help kids make some art of their own on site, and the Museum of Albemarle in Elizabeth City will show Finding Nemo as part of its summer movies for kids series. Tryon Palace in New Bern will host African American storyteller Elisha Minter for an evening stories, photos and foot-stomping music from the Jim Crow era South.

Friday will bring two great opportunities to see and explore the North Carolina coast. The N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will offer take you aboard a Duke University research vessel to explore local marine life, while the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport will host a sunset cruise focusing on the history of the region. Back in the Piedmont, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will show the critically-acclaimed film Her as SECCA in Winston-Salem opens a new multimedia exhibition that examines the concept of life in the art of Neil Goldberg.

Saturday, the Maritime Museum in Southport will offer another installment of its popular bike tours that highlight the history of its hometown, while Historic Stagville in Durham will present live performances of gospel and blues music in the shadow of its picturesque historic buildings. Just down the road in Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of Art will offer free, interactive tours for families of the colorful prints in the Estampas de la raza and the children’s book illustrations in the Tall Tales and Huge Hearts exhibits. Later in the day, the Museum of Art will present a concert of Renaissance music and a performance by Grammy Award-winning children’s musician Dan Zanes.

This weekend is your last chance to see Mail Call at Tryon Palace in New Bern. This unique exhibit from the Smithsonian showcases military mail and communications from the American Revolution to current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This weekend is also your last chance check out the American Dance Festival in Durham and the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro. Both of these awe-inspiring annual events are featured on the N.C. Arts Council’s list of the Tar Heel State’s top summer performing arts experiences.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

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A pirate invasion in Bath, a glimpse into plantation life in Creswell and a Civil War encampment in Weaverville are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend gets off to a musical start Friday evening, when the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will show the Disney sensation Frozen outside under the stars.

Saturday promises something for everyone across the state. In the east, pirates will invade Historic Bath for a re-enactment of Blackbeard’s downfall which will also feature cooking demonstrations, lectures and the recreation of a pirate funeral. Civil War weapons will be the focus in Kinston, where the CSS Neuse Interpretive Center will showcase an extensive collection of weapons from the War Between the States and perform firing demonstrations throughout the day, while volunteers demonstrating life at sea will be posted throughout the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington. The ship will also host submarine veterans for a display on what their daily life experiences were like aboard these undersea craft.

Pirates will invade Historic Bath Saturday.
Join them for family fun.

Elsewhere in the east, Aycock Birthplace in Fremont and Historic Halifax will both host community yard sales where visitors can discover the history in their neighbors’ old stuff, while Historic Edenton will offer another installment of its popular yoga classes on the picturesque lawn of the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse. The Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City will present a program on Coast Guard aviation complete with hands on activities, a film screening and the chance to meet veterans, while period games, dramatic performances of slave narratives and arts and food vendors will be featured during a showcase of plantation life at Somerset Place in Creswell.

Two programs related to nature round out the events in the eastern part of the state Saturday. The program at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will focus on whales and include science activities for kids using the museum’s massive 34-foot whale skeleton, while the Maritime Museum in Southport‘s “N.C. Wild” program will include crafts and the chance to touch and learn about a variety of coastal creatures large and small.

In the Piedmont, Duke Homestead in Durham will celebrate the tastes of the Tar Heel State with a barbecue cook-off, juried pie competition, historical cooking demonstrations and more, while Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead will let visitors try their hand at archaeology and have birthday cake on hand to celebrate the big day of an archaeologist who did pioneering work at the site. Alamance Battleground in Burlington will bring alive the Colonial era with military and civilian living history demonstrations, while the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum in Sedalia will feature performances and work by local artists as part of its African American Arts Festival.

Dramatic performances of slave narratives will be just one part of Somerset Place’s glimpse into plantation life Saturday

The N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will let visitors observe historic costume marker Andy Sterlen while he fashions an 18th century coat, and then give them to chance to try a few stitches of their own. Across town, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will offer a gallery tour and studio time for families focused on kids’ books and present a concert of the smooth, Southern sounds of Loundon Wainwright III and Iris Dement, while in Cary, the N.C. Symphony will play a concert with Captain and Maria von Trapp’s great-grandchildren featuring tunes from the Sound of Music.

They’ll be plenty to do in the west, too. Asheville‘s Thomas Wolfe Memorial will host well-known Tar Heel writer Heather Ross Miller for a poetry reading and book signing, while the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will help kids make music-related crafts. Just up the road in Pinnalce, Horne Creek Farm will highlight the region’s quilting traditions with weaving and knitting demonstrations and a small vendor fair featuring homemade crafts.

Throughout the weekend, Vance Birthplace in Weaverville will come alive with sights and sounds of Civil War camp life for a living history program, while SECCA will host performances of Billy and the Gold Pencil, a new, comic book-inspired rock musical featuring the work of North Carolina musicians.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

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Tryon Palace will come alive in the spirit of Jane Austen’s Regency era Saturday.
Don’t miss the fun.

A celebration of Jane Austen in New Bern, two rare opportunities to see the 13th Amendment in Edenton and Creswell and concerts and film screenings around the state are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery offered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources this weekend.

The weekend gets off to a great start Thursday at Historic Edenton, where DCR will kick off its tour of the 13th amendment to celebrate Juneteenth. Stop by Edenton to see the document that formally ended legal slavery in this country. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will host a book club discussion on Peter McGraw’s The Humor Code.

Friday, the 13th Amendment will make its second stop at Somerset Place in Creswell, where it will be accompanied by a lecture on emancipation. The N.C. Symphony will play some of the most mesmerizing musical themes from movies like Star Trek, Superman and Harry Potter during its Summerfest tribute to John Williams in Cary, while the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh shows the poignant film Philomena to begin its summer movie series. Music and dancing will fill the Stanley House at Tryon Palace in New Bern as the site hosts a Regency style ball, while the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport puts on a sunset cruise down the Cape Fear River highlighting the history around its hometown.

Jane Austen’s Regency Era will come alive Saturday at Tryon Palace, as the site offers special tea-themed tours of the Stanley House, high tea in the Commission House and period dance classes and crafts. Just down the road, Historic Bath will host WRAL’s documentary producer for a Q&A on two films he produced on hurricanes, while at the opposite end of the state, prolific writer and past state poet laureate Fred Chappell will present a lecture and book signing at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial in Asheville. In the Triangle, the N.C. Symphony will perform some of the best music of Broadway in Cary, while the N.C. Museum of Art screens the Oscar-winning thriller Captain Phillips. Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead will host a competition of the ancient game atlatl as part of World Atlatl Day.

The weekend wraps up Sunday when The Gravy Boys’ smooth Americana sound will fill the auditorium at the N.C. Museum of History for a performance in Raleigh, while the N.C. Symphony plays a free concert of Beethoven’s famous and powerful  5th Symphony in Chapel Hill and SECCA joins presents free art making activities as part of Winston-Salem‘s Second Sundays on 4th series.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Museum of Art will offer fun, interactive tours of its galleries and park for families.

Check out our calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

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A celebration of springtime on the farm in Pinnacle, an arts and history festival in Bath and the first in a series of readings by writers in Asheville are just a few of the opportunities for fun and learning you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend kicks off Thursday morning when the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh hosts preschoolers and parents for an exploration of movement in art with a tour and interactive craft. Across town, staff from the N.C. Museum of History will read kids a tall tale after taking a short tour of one of the museum’s galleries. In the evening, Aycock Birthplace in Fremont will screen the 1954 nautical classic Long John Silver, while New Bern’s Tryon Palace will present stories, music and poetry in the West African Griot tradition.

Blackbeard the Pirate will be just one of many special guests at this year’s Bath Fest

Friday, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem will offer the chance to visit the museum late-night and see a “Cartoon Noir” film, while the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will let visitors explore the galleries at night with jazz stylings of Sidecar Social Club in the background.

Saturday, Historic Bath will offer craft vendors, music, food booths, free historic home tours, children’s activities (including a pirate costume contest!) and special genealogy project help as part of Bath Fest, and, as is traditional, the site will host the annual Cut-Throat Croquet Tournament to benefit scholarships at the same time.  Elsewhere on the coast, the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington will offer special tours that highlight the electrical, armor and other systems that made the ship work, while the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City will have hands-on activities, pony rides and the chance to see agriculture-related artifacts as part of its Potato Festival.

In the Triangle, the N.C. Museum of History will help kids and families make World War II solider badges after visits to the museum’s military gallery and explore what foods made it from Lebanon to North Carolina and why, as part of the museum’s Cedars in the Pines exhibit.

In the west, trucks from across history will take over the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer for an antique truck show, while basket making, children’s games, food and antique farm equipment displays will be just part of the fun at Horne Creek Farm’s Heritage Day in PinnacleAsheville‘s Thomas Wolfe Memorial will kick off its Writers at Wolfe series with a reading by nationally-acclaimed author Robert Morgan.

The weekend wraps up Sunday with a concert by the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble at the N.C. Museum of History, and throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will perform the music of Disney’s Fantasia in Raleigh as the film plays in the background.

Check out our calendar for more on these and other events, and enjoy a great North Carolina weekend! You can also sign up on our website to receive information about our events in your inbox.

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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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