Education

New school open.

More details from the opening of the Wilson Normal and Industrial School, also known as the Independent School, which opened after African-American students boycotted Wilson public schools.

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Wilson Daily Times, 12 November 1918.

Episcopal priest Robert N. Perry and Baptist minister Fred M. Davis were placed at the school’s head. (As principal and vice principal?) Samuel H. Vick was appointed chairman of the board of directors and Dr. William H. Phillips, secretary. The school was incorporated, and $2400 raised for its operation. The school was to have a high school department (which the Colored Graded School did not.) And most surprisingly, the school building, on Vance Street near Pender, had been the old (white) Methodist church and had been moved several blocks across the tracks to the site.

Remembering Mrs. Johnson, honoring Mrs. Richie.

Pioneering mathematician Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson passed away today at the age of 101. Mrs. Johnson’s calculations of orbital mechanics were vital to the success of the United States’ first manned space flights.

Wilson County’s own Christine Barnes Richie also worked as a “human computer” for NASA’s predecessor in the 1950s. In 2019, Mrs. Richie was selected as one of two inaugural recipients of the Salem College Trailblazer Award. Her taped acceptance speech was aired at Salem College’s 2019 commencement ceremony.

Many thanks to Patricia Freeman for sharing.

A thank you, and an invitation.

During the Great Depression, writers contracted by the Works Progress Administration collected more than 2,300 oral histories from formerly enslaved people.  At least five women and men shared their recollections of slavery in Wilson County.  For the upcoming exhibit I curated documenting enslaved African-Americans in Wilson County, I asked four contemporary Wilsonians to lend their voices to bring to life the transcripts of four oral history interviews. Each person has roots that have been chronicled in Black Wide-Awake, and I am deeply grateful for their enthusiastic participation.

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Thank you, Mildred Hall Creech, whose Hall, Henderson and Artis families have appeared here.

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Thank you, Annie Finch Artis, shown here with husband Adam Freeman Artis. Their Artis and Finch lines have been featured in Black Wide-Awake.

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Thank you, Castonoble Hooks and Velma Hoskins Barnes. Mr. Hooks’ grandmother has been featured here, as has Mrs. Barnes’ Simms family

Say Their Names opens a week from today at Wilson’s Imagination Station Science and History Museum. I look forward to seeing you there, but if you’re unable to make it, I hope you’ll make your way to the museum this year.

Photographs courtesy of Brooke Bissette, Imagination Station.

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.

Fulfilling a need: Wilson County Negro Library, 1943-1964.

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More great Black History Month programming from Wilson County Public Library! On 15 February 2020, local history librarian Tammy Medlin will present a history of the Wilson County Negro Library, founded by African-American women in the early 1940s. No registration necessary; please come learn more about this vital community institution.

Rev. Clark congratulates The Age.

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New York Age, 9 February 1935.

In 1935, Rev. Thomas G. Clark sent a congratulatory letter to mark the New York Age’s “50 years of untrammeled service to the race, nation and the world.” In it, he revealed details of his early educational struggles, and the epiphany to which Edward A. Johnson’s A School History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1890 brought him. [Johnson, born enslaved in Wake County in 1860, was educated at Atlanta University and wrote A School History at the urging of a school superintendent. The book was the first by an African-American author to be approved for use in North Carolina’s public schools. (Sidenote: I won’t rest until I secure a copy.)]

 

Speight School.

Per Speight Middle School’s “About Us“:

“Speight Middle School first opened its doors in the fall of 1951 at 6640 Speight School Road[, Stantonsburg, North Carolina.]  At that time, however, Speight School stood as the only school on this side of Wilson County where young black children could receive a high school education.  Before Speight opened, black students were only provided with a 7th-grade education. Recognizing the need for further educational opportunities, concerned citizens began meeting to organize their efforts to provide a high school education for their children.  It took ten years, a lawsuit, and a donation of land, but Speight School was finally opened. The school started out with a faculty of 24 teachers, a librarian, and a principal. By the end of its third year, it was the largest high school in the county, with 40 teachers and approximately 1100 students.  At its peak, Speight School served over 1400 students a year. In 1970, Speight became a middle school when the integration of the county system was complete. Speight Middle School was reopened in a beautiful new facility on Old Stantonsburg Road July on 2001. Although we were all excited about the new facility, the faculty and staff of Speight are dedicated to maintaining its positive reputation, high standards of excellence, and high quality of education for our students.  Through the efforts of our staff, students, parents, and community supporters, we know that Speight Middle School will continue to be a symbol of educational excellence and opportunity in the Wilson County area.”

Speight High School was the culmination of the persistent and creative demands of Mark B. Sharpe and other African-American parents that Wilson County meet its obligation to educate their children.  For a full account of their triumphant struggle, see Charles W. McKinney’s Greater Freedom: The Evolution of the Civil Rights Struggle in Wilson, North Carolina.

From “County Schools Enter New Era With Consolidation Completed: Two New Colored Schools Are Best in North Carolina,” Wilson Daily Times, 15 August 1951.

African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

I post this information from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Leadership Forum as a public service announcement and as a reminder to myself of the possibilities for funding for futures of Rountree, Odd Fellows and Vick cemeteries.

Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund are designed to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places such as sites, museums, and landscapes representing African American cultural heritage. The fund supports work in four primary areas: Capital Projects, Organizational Capacity Building, Project Planning, and Programming and Interpretation.

Grants made from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will range from $50,000 to $150,000. In 2019, the National Trust awarded $1.6 million to 22 projects. Read more about them here. Since establishing the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund’s National Grant Program in 2017, the National Trust has invested $2.7 million in 38 diverse preservation projects across the country.

Read the answers to some of our frequently asked questions here. It will be updated as new questions come in.

Eligibility

Grant-funded projects must focus on African American cultural heritage. If applying for capacity building activities, the organization’s primary mission must be focused on African American cultural heritage.

Public agencies, 501(c)(3), and other nonprofit organizations are eligible. Applicants that have received previous National Trust financial assistance are eligible provided that all grant requirements are current.

No more than three grants will be awarded in any two-year period to a single grantee. Only one grant will be awarded per organization in any grant round. Only one type of grant will be awarded for each project phase.Grant recipients from the inaugural 2018 African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund National Grant Program are eligible to apply.

If an applicant is invited to submit a full application, the applicant will be required to become an organizational level Forum member of the National Trust to move forward with the application process. This requirement is designed to engage the applicants with the larger preservation community as they work through the project. More information on Forum can be found here, and more details will be provided if an applicant is selected to move forward in the process (see “Application Process” below).

Application Process

There is a two-step process to receive a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund:

1. Letter of Intent 
Deadline: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm local time.

A preliminary indication of interest and capacity. All Letters of Intent must be submitted through the National Trust’s online grant application system, by the deadline, or they will not be reviewed. A link to the application system is included at the bottom of this page.

2. Application
Deadline: May 1, 2020
The Letter of Intent review period will take approximately ten weeks. All applicants will be notified of their status at the end of this initial review period. If the applicant’s Letter of Intent is accepted, a full application will be requested. Instructions on how to complete the full application will be sent only to those organizations moving forward. You will have approximately five weeks to complete and submit the full application once you receive a notice to proceed.

New this year and grant round
, National Trust staff members will engage with the prospective grantees during the full application stage, and they will offer their assigned applicant technical support and advice to ensure they are submitting competitive grant proposals. Each staff member will act as the National Trust liaison, conduct sites visits as appropriate, and help applicants craft grant proposals. This collaborative engagement will benefit our selection process and grant-making.

Grant Conditions

Grants from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund may be used to fund up to 100% of the proposed project. While matching funds are not required for this program, projects that are leveraging additional investments are strongly preferred. The following grant conditions apply:

  • If the project involves a property, the grant recipient must either own the property or have a written agreement with the property owner stating that the grantee has permission to undertake the grant-funded project.
  • Grants or any matching funds cannot be used directly or indirectly to influence a member of Congress to favor or oppose any legislation or appropriation.
  • Any documents or plans for preservation work that result from the project must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
  • Any construction projects must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
  • Unless prior written approval of a bid waiver is obtained from the National Trust, at least three (3) competitive bids/quotes must be obtained for any procurement of services that exceed $50,000. This provision applies only to portions of the project supported by National Trust grant funds.
  • Grant recipients must include appropriate acknowledgement of National Trust and its philanthropic partners’ financial support in all printed materials generated for the project. As part of the grant agreement, a toolkit for promoting the grant will be provided to each grantee.
  • Consultants must be approved by the National Trust before grant funds are disbursed. Board members of the application organization cannot serve as consultants unless appropriate conflict of interest procedures are followed and documented.
  • Grant recipients are required to sign a contract agreeing to the conditions of the program.
  • Within one year from the grant disbursement date, the project must be completed, and a final report and financial accounting of the expenditure of the grants must be submitted. If the project is not completed in accordance with the contract, the grant funds must be returned.
  • Applicants must agree not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or sexual orientation. This obligation also extends to disabled veterans, Vietnam-era veterans, and handicapped persons.
  • Additional grant conditions may be required by the National Trust’s philanthropic partners. They will be outlined in the grant contract.

Eligible Activities and Expenses

Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund are designed to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places representing African American cultural heritage, such as sites, museums, theaters, sports venues, churches, schools, universities, and landscapes. Grants awards may be made for activities and projects in the following categories:

Capital Projects

  • Restoration, rehabilitation, stabilization, and preservation of historic places and structures, including bricks-and-mortar construction and planning costs
  • Applicants can request up to $150,000 and can direct up to 15% of awarded grant funds for construction planning and documents

Organizational Capacity Building

  • Hiring new staff to increase the organization’s capacity (funds can be used to support salaries and benefits for grant-supported staff.) Applicants can request up to $150,000 for a two-year period 
  • Increasing current part-time staff to full-time in order to advance preservation priorities. Applicants can request up to $100,000 for a two-year period
  • Convening board, governance and nonprofit management trainings and organizational development activities such as strategic planning. Applicants can request $50,000 and can direct up to 10% for indirect support/overhead costs. 

Project Planning

  • Obtaining the services of consultants with expertise in the areas such as preservation architecture, business development, engineering and environmental studies, legal issues, fundraising and financial sustainability, organizational development, education, etc. to develop plans for implementation by organization
  • Development of viable business plans, feasibility studies, preservation plans, engineering and environmental studies, architectural plans, etc.
  • Applicants can request up to $75,000 and can direct up to 10% for indirect support/overhead costs

Programming and Interpretation

  • Sponsoring preservation conferences and workshops
  • Designing and implementing innovative preservation education, scholarship, mapping, and interpretative programs
  • Collaborating with artists, creatives, and scholars to re-imagine interpretation and programming, while advancing new approaches to storytelling and public engagement
  • Designing, producing, and marketing printed materials or other media communications
  • Applicants can request $50,000 and can direct up to 10% for indirect support/overhead costs

Up to 10% of awarded grant funds may be used for organizational overhead costs. Grants awarded for Capital Projects and Programming and Interpretation may include funding for both the planning and implementation of those projects. In the case of Capital Projects, up to 15% of awarded grant funds may be used for construction planning such as architectural and engineering services, code review, drawings, specifications, and geotechnical services.

Ineligible Activities and Expenses

  • Supplementation of existing staff or faculty salaries; volunteer reimbursements
  • Capacity building activities other than hiring new staff, increasing current staff from part-time to full-time, or board/governance development and nonprofit management training
  • Catering, entertainment, food and beverage costs
  • Costs associated with constructing new buildings or structures, including the creation of monuments and statues
  • Costs associated with creation or maintenance of archival collections (books, documents, ephemera, etc.)
  • Expenses incurred prior to the grant award date

Criteria

The National Trust, in consultation with the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund National Advisory Council, will select grant recipients by considering, among other points, the following criteria:

  • The historic significance of the property to be assisted and its association to African American cultural heritage
  • The extent to which the requested assistance will make a difference in preserving, restoring or interpreting the historic property or site, including what other funds might be leveraged by an existing award
  • The level of local support for the project, demonstrated through letters of support and information collected on the full application such as site visitation information, volunteer statistics, and other related metrics
  • The potential of the project to be a catalyst for further positive action to benefit other historic properties, neighborhoods or communities
  • The adequacy of plans and resources for future maintenance of the property or the continuation of activity for which grant support is requested
  • The ability and willingness of the applicant to carry out the proposed plans or activity within the project’s time frame if awarded
  • The amount of additional resources being brought to the project, either through additional cash investments or donated materials and services

Themes

While this is not an exhaustive list, there are several themes we are particularly interested in:

  • Activism and Protest Movements
  • Achievement and Innovation (education, science, business, politics, etc.)
  • Architecture and Black Architects
  • Arts, Culture, and Creative Expression
  • Cemeteries and Burial Grounds
  • Education (Not Rosenwald School Specific)
  • Free Black Settlements and Agricultural History
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Sacred Places and Churches
  • Landscapes of Slavery
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Statewide African American preservation organizations
  • Reconstruction Era Sites
  • Rosenwald Schools
  • Women’s History
  • LGBTQ History
  • Cities (addressing issues of displacement, gentrification, and affordability, and advancing solutions for historic redevelopment)

How to Apply

A Letter of Intent (LOI) must be submitted using the National Trust’s online grant application system. The LOI form will capture basic information about your organization and your project. When completing the forum, you may need the following items:

  • An IRS letter of determination (nonprofit applicants)
  • A list of major donors to your organization or project
  • Up to three photos of your site, if applicable

Application

Click here to access the Letter of Intent form. (Please note: You will be taken to the National Trust grants application system where you will need to create a user profile for your organization. This is a separate login than your National Trust login.)  If you have questions please email us.

A Christmas party at Saint Alphonsus School.

On 22 December 1946, Raines and Cox arrived at Saint Alphonsus Catholic School to photograph the children’s Christmas party.

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The boy kneeling at far left is Carl W. Hines Jr. Two other kneeling boys, including the one at far right in the double-breasted jacket, may be sons of Ruel and Louisa Jones Bullock. Can you identify other children in this photo?

Again, many thanks to John Teel for sharing this image from the Raines & Cox collection of photographs at the North Carolina State Archives. It is catalogued as PhC_196_CW_218H_StAlphonseHolidayParty.