African-American History

Michelle Lanier

Michelle Lanier’s roots in North Carolina are so deep that she describes “every branch of her family tree having at least a sapling that crosses into the state.” She has a great-grandparent who preached at the oldest black Episcopal church in the state, one who was salesmen on Durham’s Black Wall Street, and one who helped establish the state’s first black high school.  

'Loves in need of love today' in Stefanie Jackon's 'Orpheus Soul Brothers' series
Stefanie Jackson

Artist Stefanie Jackson thinks of her drawings as works of fiction; they express emotions and evoke memories, but they focus on telling stories instead of documenting factual events.

Much of Jackson's work stems from important historical moments in African-American history that directly touched her own life, like the economic decline of Detroit, Michigan, or the devastation of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Charmaine McKissick-Melton at a ceremony for Sigma Tau Delta, an English honor society.
Chi Brown / NCCU Office of University Relations

In 1963, the Durham School Board extended the desegregation of schools to elementary school students. Third-grader Charmaine McKissick-Melton and her brother, Floyd Jr., were two of the first African-Americans to integrate North Durham Elementary School.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker and film educator. Here he is filming Lloyd Knight, Marth Graham Dance company for the film Echo.
Marco Williams

Note: This is a rebroadcast from earlier this year.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker who is not afraid of telling stories that others don't want to tell. 

He has produced more than a dozen documentaries exploring race, death, violence and the American psyche. His work has earned him an Emmy, a Peabody, and a litany of other documentary awards.

Image of a plate of soul food, including fried chicken, mac and cheese, collards, and fried okra.
Flickr/Jennifer Woodard Maderazo

Adrian Miller calls himself a “recovering lawyer and politico turned culinary historian.” He went from working as a special assistant to former President Bill Clinton and a legislative director for former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to becoming a soul food scholar.

“Practicing law was not the thing for me,” Miller says.“I was singing spirituals in my office, so I figured I needed to do something else.”

    

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of key moments in the civil rights movement, including Bloody Sunday and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker and film educator. Here he is filming Lloyd Knight, Marth Graham Dance company for the film Echo.
Marco Williams

Marco Williams is a filmmaker who is not afraid of telling stories that others don't want to tell. 

Image of actor Alphonse NIcholson playing the character Abel Green in Frieght.
Nick Graetz

  

A new one-man show by playwright Howard Craft tells the story of a man who exists in five incarnations at different points in American history. 

Raleigh Little Theatre

In popular culture, the term cakewalk means anything that is effortless and easy.

African-American children's book "Tobe"
UNC Press

    

First published in 1939 by UNC Press, the picture book Tobe was a rare children's story featuring an African-American protagonist.

The book follows a boy who works hard on his family farm. The story uses the real photos of people who lived in an African-American township just outside of Greensboro called Goshen.

The book gave a historical glimpse into African-American communities in North Carolina, but left open questions about what happened to these families in the decades to come.

Pages