The Tobacco Festival parade was an annual event for about a decade beginning in the late 1930s. This 1939 photograph depicts an African-American man on an ox-drawn cart towing(?) a Model T labeled “TAXI.” The shot was taken just west of the intersection of East Nash and Goldsboro Streets, in front of what was then the Branch Banking & Trust building. A number of African-American spectators can be seen at the curb.
Carolina Theatre, 1934.
This exceptionally detailed photograph was taken in August 1934, when Hollywood Party played at the Carolina Theatre. The Carolina (later called the Drake) admitted African-American patrons only through a balcony entrance, visible behind the awning at bottom left.
High school performs operetta.
Wilson Daily Times, 11 May 1932.
Published in 1917, “Miss Cherry Blossom: A Japanese Musical Comedy in 3 Acts” was a popular production for high school thespians between the World Wars.
The colored baseball club.
Field Day for the colored schools.
A.&T.’s Choral Society performs.
Wilson Daily Times, 20 April 1944.
North Carolina A.&T. State University’s Choral Society performed at Darden High School’s auditorium in April 1944.
A Negro cabin on Green Street.
This detail from the 1888 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson shows a section of Green Street between Pine and Jackson Streets. The skating rink caught my eye at first and, then, across the street, the “Negro cabin.”
Jolson showing at the Lincoln.
Wilson Daily Times, 19 April 1929.
The Lincoln was a white-owned theatre catering to African-American moviegoers. I’m not sure how popular Al Jolson was with Black audiences, but okay.
Handel’s Chorus performs in concert.
Wilson Daily Times, 5 March 1943.
Hartford E. Bess‘ Handel’s Chorus, comprised of teens and young adults, performed to standing-room-only crowds for decades. In 1943, its members included Clara B. Taylor, Pauline Farmer, Ernestine Floyd, Mattie Ford, Eunice McCall, Devera Jackson, Eunice Cooke, Dora Dickerson, Henrietta Hines, Matteele Floyd, Inez Dickerson, Deloris Haskins, Romaine Hagans, Doris Joyner, Herman Hines, Harding Thompson, Ambrose Towe, Thomas Dawson, John W. Jones, Arthur Brodie, and Rudolph Best. Unfortunately, the accompanying photograph is not available.