My deep appreciation to all who supported Black Wide-Awake in 2022 through likes, comments, contributions, corrections, shout-outs, and shares. It was another tough year; this time because we lost my beloved father, my most immediate link to the world I chronicle here. I leaned heavily into the blog as a distraction at times, and as ever drew comfort and encouragement from the ancestors I met.
For more than 50 years, Wilson’s African-American community celebrated Emancipation Day on January 1st, the day the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in 1863. People gathered to hear speeches, poetry and musical performances and to enjoy communal meals, celebrations that perhaps wiped away bitter memories of slavery-time hiring days.
In honor of all whose journey to freedom began 160 years ago today, Black Wide-Awake wishes you a happy New Year!
Some 2022 stats:
209,498 views (an increase of 16% from 2021)
87,227 visitors (an increase of 15% and hailing from 142 countries and territories)
Top 5 most popular posts:
Registered nurses (posted 2018).
Studio shots, no. 90: Edna E. Gaston (2018).
Groom killed an hour after marriage.
William Barnes plantation (2017).
Strung from a tree and shot to death (2016).
Some of my faves (in no order):
Railroad section crew in Stantonsburg.
The 100 and 200 blocks of South Pender Street.
The murder of Brother Carey C. Hill.
Stone workers strike near Sims.
Peaceful Valley Lodge No. 272, Knights of Pythias.
Studio shot, no. 197: The Henderson-Taylor family.
Parker refuses to give up his seat on the bus.
Lane Street Project: seek and ye shall find.
The mystery of Julia Boyette Bailey’s grave.
Cancelled stamp in collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.