African American Experience

The Central Interscholastic Athletic Association: Historical Development is a Regional Sports Experience

In this presentation, Douglas Jackson gives a historical perspective on the Central Interscholastic Athletic Association, formerly the Colored Interscholastic Athletic Association. Included are examinations of how local and regional small college home teams organized the association, and the social, artistic, and economic impact on North Carolina and the American Sports Tradition. Founded in 1912, this association of historically Black colleges and universities hosts the "third most attended basketball tournament among all NCAA divisions."

lectern, microphone, digital projection system

Beyond 12 Years a Slave: The Influential Slave Narratives of Tar Heels Moses Roper, Harriet Jacobs, and William H. Singleton

In this presentation by history educator Laurel Sneed, the audience will learn about three courageous African American Tar Heels who escaped to freedom and authored slave narratives: Harriet Jacobs, of Edenton; Moses Roper, of Caswell County; and William H. Singleton, of New Bern. Sneed will discuss how these three slave narrative authors left their mark on the North American Slave Narrative Literary Tradition. Slave narratives' mission was to convert the hearts and minds of readers so they would become supportive of the anti-slavery cause.

lectern, microphone, digital projector

Reverse Migration: Coming Home

We know of the great migration of Black farmers to major northern cities earlier in the twentieth century. Now, in a reverse migration, there is an emerging North Carolina Black middle class made up of the children and grandchildren of former farmers. Is there a relationship between the migration north and the migration south? How is the return of these families impacting North Carolina economically and politically? How is the New South embracing the “prodigal" sons' and daughters' return? Ms. Stewart's presentation will examine these questions in detail.

lectern, microphone

Poetry Pickin’s

Great poets from all eras will come to life with special emphasis on the poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Poets  including James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, and Paul Laurence Dunbar will be revisited through readings and recitals that show the history of the time and bring to life poetry of old while comparing the messages and the methods with those of the Rap and Spoken Word artists of today.

Microphone, digital projection system, DVD player, writeable board, lectern (optional)

The Kwanzaa Experience

Kwanzaa, an African American and Pan African holiday, was created in 1966 by Dr.

microphone, digital projection system, DVD player, writeable board, lectern

Understanding Black History as American History

African Americans have played an integral role in the creation and development of the United States from the colonial period to the present.  Since 1619 when the first twenty Africans were brought to the shores of the Chesapeake to the election of the nation’s first black president, black men and women have contributed to the economic, political, and cultural growth of the U.S.  Much of how U. S.

lectern, digital projection system

Is Bigger Still Here? A Social and Literary Analysis of Richard Wright’s Native Son

This program focuses on the character of Bigger Thomas in Richard Wright’s Native Son. The elements of poverty, racism, and hopelessness are still ingredients for the creation of current-day Bigger Thomases. Dr. Reginald Watson’s discussion of social theory and literary analysis encourages active audience participation.

The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Motherhood and Manhood

This program explores how slavery and oppression deconstruct the traditional image of motherhood and manhood for the black man and woman, a dynamic which is clearly defined in characters such as Toni Morrison’s Sethe and Paul D. and Alice Walker’s Grange and Brownfield Copeland. In these works, the black woman, despite having her motherhood turned upside down through the colonizer’s influence, manages to reconstruct not only herself, but the black man as well. Through the power of the matriarchy, the black man must rethink his role and readjust his sense of manhood. Dr.

Sincere Forms of Flattery: Blacks, Whites, and American Popular Music

In this presentation, Billy Stevens demonstrates how historic interactions between African Americans and European Americans shaped the evolution of American popular music. With its roots in slavery and the fusion of musical traditions brought from both Africa and Europe, American music is a natural outgrowth of the unique culture of the American South.

Lectern (Mr. Stevens brings his own sound system)

Samson and Delilah: From Pulpits to Pop Stars

Billy Stevens demonstrates the impact of Negro spirituals on American popular music with a fascinating journey spanning a century of American history. Using archival recordings of two songs based on the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, “My Soul is a Witness,” and “If I Had My Way,” Stevens describes how spiritual songs contributed to American popular music while transforming African American culture into the mainstream.

Lectern (Mr. Stevens brings his own sound system)
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