Thursday, January 16, 2014 2:02 PM
RALEIGH -- A sampling of multiple and varied experiences of African-American life will be celebrated in recognition of Black History Month by divisions within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The joyful chorus of gospel choirs, the plaintive laments of slave narratives, and the fight for equality by America's first black marines are among the month's offerings.
The African-American Cultural Celebration at the N.C. Museum of History is the Jan. 25 kickoff event for the department's celebration. The free program from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. offers a dizzying array of performances of drama, literature and music; discussions of black enterprise and film; roving performers; chefs and food historians; artisans and even a female NASCAR driver!
A musical journey awaits you at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville with the Dancing Stories with April C. Turner program Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. Traditional dances, stories and songs from the West African culture will affirm community building concepts such as working together, perseverance and integrity. The free, high-energy program will be fun and inspiring, and the audience will be invited to play music together as a community experience.
Stargazing at Historic Stagville in Durham Feb. 7 will focus on astronomy, and also myths and legends in African cultures. The free 6 p.m. Stagville Under the Stars program is presented with the Morehead Planetarium and will include related stories from scientists today. Expand your universe with family and friends and enjoy a concluding constellation tour.
A reprise of a much lauded program at Stagville this summer, Let Them Be Heard, will present evening performances of slave narratives that move among Stagville's slave quarters Feb. 21-March 1. The hourlong winter performances will examine Reconstruction and beyond. Bare Theatre used interviews from the Works Progress Administration program to craft a powerful presentation on pain, anguish and the desire to be free. Language and graphic descriptions of violence may not be appropriate for all audiences. Tickets are $10. Performances are at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.; space is limited.
The amazing tale of Harriet Jacobs, who escaped from slavery and became an abolitionist and author, will be highlighted during the Harriet Jacobs Walking Tourin Historic Edenton. The events of her life are documented in her autobiography, "Incidents if the Life of a Slave Girl," self-published in 1861.
Tours will be given by request Tuesday through Saturday in February and March, and go through downtown Edenton by many of the sites mentioned in her book. Tours are $5 for adults and $1 for children. A step-on guide for a tour bus is available with advance booking; self-guided tour maps are $1.
Racial discrimination faced by America's first black Marines, in the Corps and in civilian life, will be discussed by Dr. Melton McLaurin Feb. 18 at N.C. Maritime Museum at Southport in The Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedomprogram. From World War II to Vietnam the 9 Marines faith in America and contributions continued . McLaurin is author of 10 books and numerous articles on the history of the American South and race relations. The free program is at 7 p.m.
New York and the 19th Century Slavery Question is the Feb. 20, 7 p.m. presentation at Tryon Palace in New Bern. Actress, vocalist and historian Tami Tyree reveals how even as citizens on both sides of the Mason Dixon line were arguing the slavery question, the enslaved were artfully making their own statements. Their stories were fused with melody and poetic verse and are known as spirituals today. Tyree was a featured vocalist in the movie 12 Years A Slave. The free program is part of the Tryon Palace monthly African-American Lecture Series.
Staff and Students from Elizabeth City State University will present An Evening of African-American Music and Performing Arts Feb. 22, 7 p.m., at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City. The museum also will host the Faith and Freedom program Feb. 23 at 2 p.m., featuring local choirs, as well as other programs Feb. 21 and Feb. 22.
Throughout February the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer will highlight featured exhibits relating to African-Americans and transportation history. Hands-on history maps to identify the exhibits will be available in the Barber Junction Visitor Center. Featured exhibits include the Barber Junction Depot, where Jim Crow laws separating the races were in effect; the Brockway Fire Truck that belonged to the all-black Quick Step Hook and Ladder Company; and the exhibit on Capt. Bill Wilkerson, retired Piedmont Airlines and US Airways pilot.
Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort will host a "Freedom for All" panel exhibitopening Feb. 10 that examines the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on to passage of the 13th Amendment which freed the enslaved. The "Freedom for All" exhibit also will visit Historic Halifax, Historic Stagville, Somerset Place, Tryon Palace, and the CSS Neuse Civil War Center this year.
The newly published African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina is now available. The 218 page guidebook helps travelers explore musicians performing jazz, rhythm-and-blues, funk, gospel, and blues music throughout the eastern portion of the state. It was a project of the N.C. Arts Council and the African American Heritage Commission and published by UNC Press.
For more information, please call (919) 807-7389 or visit http://ncdcr.gov/BlackHistory.
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N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
109 East Jones Street MSC 4601 | Raleigh, NC 27699-4601
Phone: (919) 807-7300 | Fax: (919) 733-1620
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