Say Their Names.

The closing day of Black History Month is the opening day of Say Their Names: Reclaiming Wilson, North Carolina’s Slave Past. I’m immensely honored to have been invited by Wilson’s science and history museum, Imagination Station, to curate this exhibit, which grew from a talk I gave at Wilson County Public Library a few years ago.

Say Their Names will be on display through the end of 2020, and I hope you’ll get to Wilson before then to see it. I’d love to see you on opening day, too, when I’ll be there to greet and thank you.


  1. This is wonderful! I will try my best to visit… and bring some folk with me. So excited and happy for you.

  2. I’ll be there on the 29th taking photos for the newspaper! 🙂
    (Is there a set time for a formal opening of the exhibit that day? Will you be giving opening remarks?)

      1. Congratulations! Unfortunately, I can’t attend but best wishes. We appreciate your investigative research.

      2. I’ll check with Brooke! (The reason I asked is that I was given vague details about the day, mainly “it’s 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.” I wanted to narrow it down a little bit.) 😉

  3. Slaves of Barden/Bardin family
    Washington Simms, my great great grandfather and his son, my great grandfather Jeremiah (Jerry) Barden … thanks

    1. In fact, Washington Simms was owned by Willie Simms, who passed him to his son Benjamin Simms. (I have a complicated post about this family’s slaveholdings in draft status.) Washington’s wife Axey Barnes and their children were owned by the Bardens.

      1. Is there a record of all Washington Simms children? I know of one, Jeremiah/Jerry Barden – also Barden Plantation info, if you have any. Link for Slaves listed by name .. thanks

      2. Or, rather, all I’ve pulled together in a post. The Simms material is very dense, and I have put off completing that post for some time. I’ll try to prioritize it.

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