High Point Museum

Posted on: January 25, 2018

Museum Highlights African American Contributions

The High Point Museum showcases history every day and participates in national commemorations such as Black History Month throughout the year. Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

The High Point Museum has a variety of African American items and photos on display including a reproduction of John Coltrane’s 1937 fifth grade school report for Negro History Week; stained glass window and pulpit from First Baptist Church on Washington Street; and items from the Civil Rights Era.

The High Point Museum also has two online exhibits – Melzetta Williams: A Teacher’s Recollections and A Pathway to Opportunity – focusing on African American experiences in High Point. Our online database (found on our website under online collections) offers people the chance to search items related to African Americans.

Throughout the month, the Museum will be hosting a variety of events. On Thursday, February 8 (February 15 is inclement weather date) from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  the High School Black History Quiz Bowl will be held at the Museum.
Students from local schools, GTCC HP, Ragsdale, Penn-Griffin, Andrews, Central and Southwest, will be participating in a Quiz Bowl. Local author and historian Glenn Chavis developed the questions for the quiz bowl.

Phyllis Bridges will share her latest documentary film, “The Forgotten Ones of Oakwood Cemetery,” concerning those buried in the African American section of the City Cemetery Saturday, February 10 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. As part of the program, she and a reenactor will bring to life the stories of individuals long forgotten but crucially significant to the history of our city. Bridges is recipient of the 2017 Paul Green Multimedia Award and the President’s Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians for her documentary films.

The Heritage Research Center at the High Point Public Library will be hosting “Al Campbell Remembers,” Monday, February 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the Morgan Room at the Library. Al Campbell, former editor and founder of the High Point Tribunal Aid, one of High Point's African-American focused newspapers, published in the mid-1970s, will discuss the history of that publication and its importance to the community.

Our last program for the month will be “Each one, Teach one: The growth of education in the African American community since 1900” on Saturday, February 24 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The ability to pursue learning opportunities ranked high among the priorities of African Americans as many transitioned from slavery to freedom. By the turn of the century, schools became one of several institutional pillars within African American communities as well as an arena for political, social, and ideological battles. In this talk, Lisa Withers, doctoral student at NC State, will address the roles of educational institutions, administrators, and teachers in African American activism from 1900 to 1970 with examples drawn from High Point and the South more broadly.

The High Point Museum, a division of the High Point Public Library, share Greater High Point’s history, provides perspective for current issues, and strengthens the sense of community.

The City of High Point aims to serve as the catalyst for bringing together the community’s human, economic and civic resources for the purpose of creating the single most livable, safe and prosperous community in America. For more information on the City, visit www.highpointnc.gov

 

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