Viewing entries tagged "underrepresented"

New Items added from the Central Children’s Home of North Carolina

Front Cover of Report

Front cover of the report for The Colored Orphanage of North Carolina during 1942 – 1943.

Digital NC is excited to announce new materials from our new partner, Central Children’s Home of North Carolina. The new items include reports from the Board of Directors for The Colored Orphanage of North Carolina from the 1940s to the 1970s. The reports include information about local organizations donating to support the orphanage, a list of staff, school enrollment, and a summary of the activities.

Currently, the Central Children’s Home offers services for youth ages 9 – 21 providing residential care for children and young adults in need for over 100 years.

Special thanks to the Central Children’s Home of North Carolina for making this possible. To learn more about our new partner, Central Children’s Home of North Carolina, visit them here.

To see more materials in our NC memorabilia collection, visit us here.

Additional University of North Carolina at Pembroke Catalogs Now Available

On the left side of the logo there is a Greek column building with a sun peaking over the top and UNC Pembroke written under it. On the right written out is: changing lives through education.

Thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, a batch containing four of the university’s catalogs are now available on DigitalNC. This batch adds catalogs from the years 2016 to 2021, expanding our holdings of the University’s catalogs from 1906 to the present day. While the earliest catalog we have available on our site is from 1906, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke has been operating since the late 1880s.

The Croatan Normal School, now the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, was established on March 7, 1887 by the General Assembly of North Carolina. The bill that passed that day allowed for the formation of a secondary school that would educate American Indian teachers and appropriated $500 for teacher’s salaries. Though the teacher’s salaries were provided for, the General Assembly neglected to supply land or funds for building the actual school. This left it up to the Croatan, now called the Lumbee, and the community to raise funds and find the land. The Lumbee quickly secured the funds and began building what would be a clapboard, two-story school building. Less than a year after the bill passed, the Croatan Normal School opened its doors. Over the last 135 years the school has gone through numerous name, curriculum, and building changes, however, time has not changed the integral part that the school continues to hold in the Lumbee community.

To learn more about University of North Carolina at Pembroke, please visit their website.

To view more University of North Carolina at Pembroke catalogs on our website, click here.

To learn more about the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, please visit their website.

Information for this blog post was gathered from the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina website, University of North Carolina at Pembroke website, and the NC Department Natural and Cultural Resources blog.

New Yearbooks now Online from Tyrrell County Public Library

Thanks to our partner Tyrrell County Public Library, a 1949 yearbook from Tyrrell County Training School and 4 yearbooks covering 1975-1978 from Columbia High School are now online.  The 1949 yearbook is the first online from Tyrrell County Training School, which served the African American community of Tyrrell County during segregation. 

Multiple black and white head shots of adults

The staff at Tyrrell County Training School in 1949

Multiple black and white group photographs of students, the top one is of a men's basketball team, the next down is of a woman's basketball team, the next image is of the student council, and the last image is of the dramatic club.

Student organizations at Tyrrell County Training School in 1949

To view more yearbooks from across North Carolina, visit our North Carolina Yearbooks section.  To learn more about Tyrrell County Public Library, visit their website here.

Winston-Salem’s African-American Heritage Initiative Materials Now on DigitalNC

Smiling woman sitting in front of a sign that says City of Winston-Salem African-American Heritage Initiative

Screenshot from the Evelyn Abrams Terry Oral History Interview [June 18, 2022]

The City of Winston-Salem has started a project called the Winston-Salem African-American Heritage Initiative to address the shortcomings of how the city has historically acknowledged the role of African-Americans in its’ history.  The goal of the initiative is to build a digital archive of materials that aims to preserve and provide access to the history of Winston-Salem during segregation as well as the efforts of desegregation.  Working in partnership with the city on this, DigitalNC is serving as the digital access portal for the submitted materials.  So far those materials have included oral histories taken at the city’s Juneteenth events with members of the African-American community, as well as old campaign materials, funeral programs and other items documenting Winston-Salem’s African-American community.

Article clipping from a newspaper. Photograph campaign flyer with a man in a bowtie pictured.

William R. Crawford 1964 NC Legislature Campaign Materials.

All of the materials collected so far can be viewed on the Initiative’s DigitalNC page here.  If you are interested in submitting materials to the Initiative, check out the city’s website.  

Additional Issues of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, Including Ones that Discuss the Darryl Hunt Case, Now Available on DigitalNC

Winston-Salem Chronicle header. Above the header is bright red text saying Sunday Edition.

Thanks to our partner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a batch of fill-in issues of the Winston-Salem Chronicle spanning from 1975 to 2013 are now available on our website. Included among the issues added were February 7, 1985 and June 27, 1985. These particular issues are notable for their articles written on Darryl Hunt, a Black Winston-Salem man who was falsely convicted of murdering (among other charges) Deborah Sykes in 1985.

The Winston-Salem Chronicle staff was among the many community members that voiced their concerns over the arrest of Darryl Hunt. In the February 7, 1985 issue of the paper, executive editor Allen H. Johnson writes a large, three page article on the case, using every inch of the pages to humanize Hunt and point out the inconsistencies of the case.

In the article, Johnson includes several interviews from community members and organizations such as Alderman Larry Little, Hunt’s uncle William Johnson, and the NAACP. In these interviews, many community members mention their shock and vehement disbelief that Hunt could have committed murder. Even Hunt’s sixth grade teacher was interviewed, saying: “‘I cried like a baby because I knew he wasn’t guilty,’ […] I know that kid and there’s no way …. I’d bet my life on it that he isn’t capable of this horrendous crime.'”

Despite inconsistencies, lack of concrete evidence, and efforts by the community, Hunt was convicted and sentenced to life in prison on June 14, 1985. In 1989 however, the North Carolina Supreme Court overturned the previous conviction due to the original prosecutors introducing false statements made by Hunt’s at-the-time girlfriend which she recanted before the initial trial. On appeal, Hunt was released on bond and offered a plea bargain where he would be sentenced to the time he had already served (five years) for a guilty plea. Hunt rejected the bargain and went through a retrial. He was again convicted and sentenced to life in prison. 

After the second conviction, Hunt’s attorneys Mark Rabil and Ben Dowling-Sendor filed for the DNA gathered from the crime scene to be tested. The results came back in October of 1994 and determined that the DNA did not match Hunt’s. Despite the results, requests for an appeal were rejected. The reasoning given for the denied appeal was that new evidence was not absolute proof that Hunt was not involved.

Ten years after learning that the DNA did not belong to Hunt, authorities ran the crime scene DNA through the state’s database. It was discovered that the DNA actually belonged to Willard E. Brown, a man who was already incarcerated for another murder. Finally, after serving 19 years in prison, Darryl Hunt was exonerated on February 6, 2004.

To read more issues of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, please click here.

To view more newspapers from across North Carolina, please click here.

To learn more about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, please visit their website.

Information about the Darryl Hunt case was gathered from Phoebe Zerwick’s Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt, the Innocence Project, and DigitalNC graduate assistant Sophie Hollis.

More Issues of “The Carolina Times” Celebrate Historic Figures

The masthead of The Carolina Times, which includes a horse's head behind the words.

Some of the missing issues of The Carolina Times from 1979-1982 have been added to Digital NC thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In these recently uploaded issues, it’s clear that the paper is committed to voicing some of the experiences of Black citizens of Durham in the late ’70s and early ’80s. One way that the paper celebrates Black history is through the “Things You Should Know” Continental Features, which briefly note the accomplishments of important historic figures. 

A cartoon of William Wells Brown's bustSome of the cartoon faces in these features may already seem familiar to you, such as novelist William Wells Brown, the white philanthropist Julius Rosenwald (known for his financial support of “Rosenwald schools”), and Nicholas Biddle, the first Black Union soldier wounded in the Civil War. Others, it seems, haven’t persisted into our collective memory as strongly, though the paper makes a case for them.

A cartoon of the head and shoulders of Mary Fields holding a gunOne such figure is Mary Fields, apparently the first Black woman to be a star route mail carrier on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service. As her feature suggests, she was sometimes known as “Stagecoach Mary” due to her usual mode of transportation. But Fields didn’t set up her own mail route until she was 60 years old; before that, she worked on board the first Robert E. Lee steamboat (made famous by its race on the Mississippi) and served as the forewoman at St. Peter’s, a Catholic mission in Montana. Other sources confirm that she was incredibly strong and stood around six feet tall.

Though she encountered conflicts in her life and work, Fields was beloved in the community of Cascade, Montana; the town apparently closed schools each year to celebrate her birthday, and she was sometimes exempt from rules governing women. She passed away in 1914 and was celebrated with one of the largest funerals in the town’s history.

Cartoon headshot of Beatrice TrammellAnother, even more mysterious figure is Beatrice Johnson Trammell. This blurb has pretty much all the information available about her that can be found with cursory internet searches, and the same is true for the others connected to her in the article. But apparently, she was known well enough in 1982 for someone to include her in the series.

You can see all available issues of The Carolina Times here or browse our North Carolina Newspaper collection by location, type, and date. For more information about UNC Chapel Hill and its library holdings, you can visit their partner page or their website

Fill-in Issues of “The Carolinian” from the 1970s-’80s Now Available

The masthead of The Carolinian Newspaper

More of “NC’s Semi-Weekly” news from Raleigh is ready for reading thanks to our partner, Shaw University. These issues of The Carolinian span from 1977 to 1984 and detail some of the major stories of Black Raleighites during this time.

Newspaper clipping with a small headshot of Kenneth WilkinsOne such story is the election of Kenneth C. Wilkins, North Carolina’s first Black Register of Deeds, in 1984. In the front-page article on his victory, Wilkins said, “Since it’s not a policy-making position, but an administrative one, a different perspective on the situation does not mean as much,” but adds that representation is still an important and inspiring step. 

Another article from October 18, 1984 advertises an upcoming visit from famed author James Baldwin, who visited the UNC Chapel Hill campus during Humanitarian Week. Baldwin planned to speak about his childhood in Harlem and his experiences as a Black American, according to the article. His visit came just a couple of years after the release of his documentary on the stations of the Civil Rights Movement in the American South, I Heard It Through the Grapevine.

You can see all available issues of The Carolinian here or browse our North Carolina Newspapers collection. You can also filter all newspapers to see our full collection of African-American newspapers. To learn more about Shaw University, you can visit their partner page and their website.

Yearbooks From Our New Partner, Riverside Union High School Alumni Association, Now Available

A photo of five cheerleaders; three are standing, and three are seated in front.

Cheerleaders from The Riviera, 1967.

Thanks to the work of our new partner, the Riverside Union High School Alumni Association, we’ve added several new yearbooks from the Franklin County Training School/Riverside Union High School from 1943-1967. We’ve also included a 1955 graduation program with photos of the graduates.

A group of many students gathered closely together. Most are standing in a semi-circle around a table; six are seated at the table.

Riverside High School student council (from The Riviera, 1967).

Franklin County Training School began as one of many “Rosenwald schools” in North Carolina⁠—which erected 813 buildings through the project by 1932, more than any other state in the country, according to the North Carolina Museum of History. For background, “Rosenwald schools” were developed by Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute as a way to improve formal education for Black children in the South. The project soon received funding from Julius Rosenwald, then-President of Sears, Roebuck and Company, resulting in over 5,300 buildings in 15 states.

Although Rosenwald provided significant financial backing, much of the money for these schools came from grassroots contributions by community members. The terms of Rosenwald’s fund stipulated that communities had to raise enough money themselves to match the gift, so George E. Davis, the supervisor of Rosenwald buildings in N.C., often held dinners and events to encourage local farmers to contribute. By 1932, Black residents had contributed more than $666,000 to the project.

Though many schools built in part with Rosenwald Fund grants were designed to be small (typically one to seven teachers per school), Franklin County Training School was once the only Black public high school in the county. As a result, the student body expanded; many students lived nearby, and others were bused from farther away (102). In 1960, the original building burned down, and the school was rebuilt as Riverside Union School and then Riverside High School (103).

A yearbook photo of a young man in a graduation cap and gown

James Harris, The Riviera, 1967

“I’d say very jovial, it’s a family type atmosphere. I felt very safe,” James A. Harris, who attended the school from 1955 to 1967, recounted in 2004. “Teachers were very caring and provided not only just classroom instruction, but a lot of values. Teachers were held to a higher standard. If you look at people in the community that people looked up to, [teachers] were right behind the minister. They were held in high esteem.” (From John Hadley Cubbage, 2005.)

When North Carolina racially desegregated schools in 1969, Riverside High School was converted to Louisburg Elementary School. Today, it’s the central office for Franklin County Schools. The building itself is on the National Register of Historic Places (Reference Number: 11001011). 

To see all of the materials from the Riverside Union High School Alumni Association, you can visit their partner page or click here to go directly to the yearbooks. You can also browse our entire collection of North Carolina yearbooks by school name and year.

New Winston-Salem Chronicle Issues Now Available

Winston Salem Chronicle header. Under the newspaper name it reads: serving the Winston-Salem community since 1974.

Thanks to our partner, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, issues that fill in previous holes in our site’s holding of the Winston-Salem Chronicle from 1975 to 1982 are now available on our website.

Since 1974, the Winston-Salem Chronicle has published weekly issues that focus primarily on news about and events in Winston-Salem’s Black community.

To view all issues issues of the Winston-Salem Chronicle available on our website, please click here.

To view more newspapers from around North Carolina, please visit our North Carolina Newspapers Collection here.

To learn more about the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, please visit their website.

Vance County Students’ Yearly Record Envelopes Now Available on DigitalNC

Thanks to our partner, Henderson Institute Historical Museum, yearly record envelopes for African American students who attended Vance County schools with last names A through Z are now available on our website

These envelopes, filled with a multitude of information, are a great resource for researchers and individuals looking to learn more about Vance County residents, students, and schools. The front of the envelopes include a students’ name, address, date of birth, years they attended school, which Vance County school they went to, how many days they attended, if they were promoted, and noted if they moved out of the county.

Due to the inclusion of medical records and other sensitive personal information, the content within the envelopes were not digitized. If you are interested in learning more about the documents inside of the envelopes, please reach out to the Henderson Institute Historical Museum for more information.

To learn more about the Henderson Institute Historical Museum, please visit their website.

To view more materials from North Carolina’s African American high schools, please view our North Carolina African American High Schools Collection.

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This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.

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