NC History and Culture

Judge Elreta Alexander and Civil Rights Activism

Elreta Melton Alexander became the first African-American woman to graduate from Columbia Law School.   In 1947, she was the first African-American woman to practice law in the State of North Carolina, and subsequently, in 1968, became the first African-American woman to become an elected district court judge.  Despite these accomplishments, Alexander is little known to scholars outside of her hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Lectern, microphone, digital projector

The Month of Their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods Through the Year

Georgann Eubanks’ takes the audience on a flavorful journey across North Carolina in a presentation that shares research and stories about twelve North Carolina heritage foods.  Each heritage food is matched to its month of peak readiness for eating.  Beginning in January, Eubanks presents the story of one of the most fleeting of southern ingredients—snow—to capture Tar Heels making snow cream.  Transitioning to March, a midnight canoe ride on the Trent River reveals the search for shad, a bony fish with a savory history dating back to the Civil War.  In November, a Chat

Microphone and Lectern

Kirk's War: The Civil War along the North Carolina-Tennessee Border

In this presentation Hardy will focus on the Civil War’s regional impact along the North Carolina-Tennessee board. In June 1864, East Tennessee Unionist George W. Kirk led a raid through the Toe River Valley and into Burke County, NC where he captured a group of Confederate conscripts at Camp Vance, near Morganton, NC. Kirk then burned the camp and a local railroad depot before retreating back toward Tennessee, fighting several skirmishes along the way.


The Origins and Early History of North Carolina

The story of North Carolina begins in the east. In this lecture audiences will learn about the lives of the Native American, African, and European inhabitants of the state over its 400 years of recorded history. These peoples have not only shaped, but been shaped by North Carolina and its landscape. The state’s waterways and forests sustained Native American villages that were replaced in the eighteenth century by English plantations, cleared for the Whites by African and Indian slaves.

The Mysteries of the "Lost Colony" and the Iroquois Confederacy

One of North Carolina’s greatest mysteries lies in the question, “What happened to the Lost Colony?” Numerous books, articles and plays have been written speculating about what happened to these people.  Where they killed? Did they move into the interior? Were they captured by Indians?  Recent discoveries in Eastern North Carolina (specifically Bertie County) as well as recently uncovered maps, artifacts, human remains, colonial records and oral histories provide fascinating clues for answering these questions and more.

Lectern, microphone, digital projector, DVD player, VHS player

Early Cultural and Racial Blending in Colonial North Carolina

For centuries North Carolinians have attempted to simplify race by creating three broad categories--Native American, Black and Whites However, during the colonial and antebellum periods many Native, Black and White communities contained mixed-race members. Early Virginia, which included Northeastern North Carolina (Albemarle County), Whites resolved their dilemma by establishing race-based slavery, and categorizing all mixed-race peoples as “mulatto” and later “negro” and enslaving them for life.

Lectern, microphone, digital projector, DVD player, VHS player

Ocracoke and its Role in the True Story of Treasure Island

In this presentation Outer Banks author and maritime historian, John Amrhein, Jr., draws on his extensive research of the 1750 Spanish fleet, lost along the coast of North Carolina and Virginia, which inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s book Treasure Island. The story begins with the piracy of a fortune in silver from a disabled Spanish galleon in Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina. These events took place in 1750, the same year that Stevenson’s character, Captain James Flint, buried his treasure in Treasure Island.

Lectern and digital projector or monitor

Tar, Pitch and Turpentine: Naval Stores in North Carolina, 1705-1950

Why are North Carolinians called Tar Heels? This history program examines the practices and context of the North Carolina naval stores industry from its beginnings in 1705 through its decline in 1950. Brayan Avery and a team of volunteers operate a pine turpentine orchard and use this raw material to recover the practice and history of traditional tar-making process. This presentation highlights the history and context of the production of naval in North Carolina.

DVD player and display tables.

The Bread Family Tales: Growing Up in Rural North Carolina During Jim Crow

The Bread Family tales is a collection of stories, photos, and foot-stomping music focusing on the daily life and struggles of a family living when Jim Crow laws and racism were prevalent. Storyteller Elisha Minter, affectionately known as "Mother Minter," narrates the tales from a historical point of view, sharing what life was like in North Carolina for farmers, parents, and children growing up in a time when "sto' bought bread" was a delicacy. It includes document slides from the actual family home place in Fayetteville, and the actual stories fitted around these locations.

lectern, microphone, digital projector and screen, writeable board

Tar Heel Traveler Sports!

Scott Mason is WRAL-TV's Tar Heel Traveler, whose feature stories air Monday through Thursday at 5:55 PM. Scott has featured many sports stories since his series debuted in 2007--sports such as football, basketball, baseball and hockey, but also croquet, table tennis, horse racing, skydiving, and motocross. The stories often include compelling profiles of athletes and offer a broad picture of how they and their sport embedded themselves into North Carolina history.

digital projector, screen, microphone This program may require additional costs beyond the honorarium payment. Please inquire with the scholar for specific details.
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