The end of the Civil War brought several firsts for African Americans. Most notably is the election to local, state and federal offices. From the state legislature to the United States Congress, African American North Carolinians served their nation in political positions. Earl Ijames, Curator of Agriculture and African American History from the state museum in Raleigh, presents chronology ofthe many African American men who, for the first time, legally entered politics on behalf of their race.
This presentation coincides with the museum’s newest special exhibit, Freedom! A Promise Disrupted: North Carolina 1862-1901. The exhibit provides accounts of the newly freedmen who entered politics and represented the issues and concerns faced by all African Americans during Reconstruction. “North Carolina suffered under slavery for two hundred years until the 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865,” said Ijames. “After the Civil War formerly enslaved people formed families, established churches, educational institutions and communities for the first time in history only to see racism and segregation reverse those gains by the turn of the 20th century.”
Include in your Black History Month celebration this event and viewing the special exhibit, Freedom! A Promise Disrupted: North Carolina 1862-1901, before or after Ijames’ presentation. Supplement your evening of knowledge with one of the many books on Black history in the Museum Shop.