The history of African Americans unfolds across the canvas of America, beginning even before the arrival of the Mayflower and continuing to present day.
From port cities where Africans disembarked from slave ships to the battlefields where their descendants fought for freedom, from the colleges and universities where they pursued education to places where they created communities during centuries of migration, the imprint of Americans of African descent is deeply rooted in the narrative of the American past. (Excerpted from The Association for the Study of African American Life and History's 2016 Executive Summary.
The Library celebrates Black History Month with a broad selection of programs for the entire family including two featured programs.
"Five Row: The Lost Village of Reynolda."
Reynolda Manor Branch Library
Thursday, February 11th at noon
Five Row was a community within a community where African American farm employees lived with their families, some of whom also worked as domestics in Reynolda House, The home of R.J. Reynolds. Five Row consisted of two rows of houses flanking an unpaved road running parallel to what is now Silas Creek Parkway. We will share images, recordings and a clip from a play about Five Row produced in 2014 by Peppercorn Children's Theater.
"Thomas Day, Cabinet Maker: Man in the Middle"
Clemmons Branch Library
Monday, February 22nd at 7:00 pm
Filmmaker and educator Laurel Sneed will present a lecture on Thomas Day, remembered as the black craftsman who ran the largest furniture business in the state during the time of slavery.
A skilled artisan and savvy businessman, Day's shop turned out striking beds, bureaus, tables, sofas, and chairs that are just as highly coveted today as they were 150 years ago. This dynamic, mediated presentation encourages audience participation as they analyze historical evidence and explore the mystery of one of our state's most extraordinary and fascinating historical figures.
A North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholar presentation made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Here is a complete schedule of Black History Month programming at the Library.