The why of Black Wide-Awake, no. 2.

Carolyn Maye, a generous contributor of photographs to Black Wide-Awake, made it to Imagination Station on closing day to see Say Their Names. The exhibit included among its displayed documents a copy of the obituary of her formerly enslaved great-great-grandmother, Jane Rountree Mobley.

She brought with her Skylar, the youngest of Jane Mobley’s great-great-great-great-granddaughters.

Thank you, Carolyn, for affirming the purpose of Black Wide-Awake. Your determination to get to Wilson, despite a pandemic, and to introduce Skylar to Jane Mobley, both humbles and inspires me. She will never believe, as so many of us have, that the lives of her ancestors passed unknown and unknowable.


  1. I have seen the photo hundreds of times, but I never knew the history of it or where it was taken at, let alone, the names of the people. I am quite surprised, that it came from the area of my grandfather, Arthur Tart.

    Thank you, for this information!!!

  2. I think I need to clarify. The image on the poster was not taken in Wilson County. There are no known photos of freedmen taken immediately after Emancipation in this area. Rather, the image was chosen as an illustration of what newly freed Wilson County families would have looked like. There’s a photo credit at the bottom, but it’s difficult to read in this image. Sorry for the confusion.

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