Celebrating African American History Month: New in NCpedia
NCpedia has new entries to celebrate North Carolina’s African American heritage. These entries were shared with NCpedia by a number of our valued content partners and collaborators: the North Carolina Arts Council, North Carolina State University Libraries, and the State Archives of North Carolina. Visit NCpedia to learn more — and if you have a comment, question or personal story to share about these biographies and historical moments, please let us know by contributing a comment on the article page! We love to hear from viewers!
African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina: Kinston Area: This article introduces viewers to Kinston’s musical heritage and serves as a launch point for a collection of related biographies and stories:
Lieutenant J. Tim Brymn, director of the U.S. 350th Field Artillery Band. Image provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
John Henry Fortescue: Becoming Guitar Shorty — an entry about a one-of-a-kind, self-taught blues musician from Elm City.
Maceo and Melvin Parker: Early Influences — legendary brothers from Kinston, the Parkers both performed with James Brown and went on to their own solo careers. Maceo Parker received the North Carolina Heritage Award in 2016.
James Brown Band: “Almost Like a Kinston Band”— shares the legendary musician’s influence on and discovery of Kinston musicians.
Geneva Perry: From the International Sweethearts of Rhythm to Adkin High — Geneva Perry, a member of the 1940s all-women, multi-racial big band the International Sweethearts, taught music at Kinston’s Adkin High School.
Adkin High School Walkout 1951, Kinston, NC — shares the historical moment in 1951 when students of Kinston’s racially segregated high school staged a walkout to protest after their plea to the school board for educational resources was denied.
James Timothy Brymn — a Kinston musical legacy and early Jazz composer, Brymn studied at Shaw University and then went on National Conservatory of Music of America. His legendary compositions of the early decades of the 20th century were among the first to use the word “jazz.”
Dazelle Foster Lowe — shares the story of a leader in the establishment of home demostration for the state’s black communities beginning in World War I.
John William Mitchell — Mitchell, a pioneer in the establishment of extension service support for African Americans in North Carolina in the early decades of the 20th century became the first head of the newly created extension service office at N.C. A&T in 1922.
James William Alston — shares the life of a North Carolinian who served in the U.S. Army, worked at the State Museum (today’s Museum of Natural Sciences) and was among the first class of African Americans to be trained as military officers at the all-African American officers training school at Fort Dodge, IA on the eve of World War I.
— Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library