Among May happenings at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh is the opening of Behind the Veneer: Thomas Day, Master Cabinetmaker. This major exhibit looks at Thomas Day, a free man of color and a successful businessman in antebellum North Carolina who created furniture and architectural materials that survive today. On the exhibit’s opening day, May 22, a lively panel discussion will take place about African American history. Panelists include Dr. Timothy B. Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign My Name.
On May 7 and 9, two films will focus on the lives of other African Americans from North Carolina. Additional May programs range from a children’s program about Mother’s Day to a presentation by UNC-Chapel Hill student Walker Elliott, the winner of this year’s Student Essay Contest.
All programs are free except for the May 7 screening of “Rescue Men: The Story of the Pea Island Life Savers,” a new documentary from DreamQuest Productions. Parking is free on weekends.
Writer’s Block: Sweet Carolina: Favorite Desserts and Candies from the Old North State
Sunday, May 2
Foy Allen Edelman, Author
Edelman spent six years crossing North Carolina to gather dessert and candy recipes. Sample some of the confections featured in the book and enjoy reminiscences of her travels. A book signing follows the program.
*Time for Tots: Suited to a Tea
Tuesday, May 4 or May 11
Ages 3-5 with adult
To register, call 919-807-7992.
Look at objects in the collection associated with “taking tea.” Make cookies and participate in a tea party.
*History Corner: Mother’s Day
Wednesday, May 5
Ages 5-9 with adult
To register, call 919-807-7992.
Learn about the ways that mothers were honored long ago and listen to stories that celebrate moms. This program is presented with Cameron Village Regional Library.
First Friday Film: “Rescue Men: The Story of the Pea Island Life Savers”
Friday, May 7
7-9 p.m.; Q&A with filmmakers after screening
$5 in advance, $7 at the door, free to ages 12 and under and to Associates members For reservations, call 919-807-7992.
See this special screening of a documentary chronicling the experiences of the all-black crew of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station on the Outer Banks. When the three-masted schooner E.S. Newman ran aground off the North Carolina coast on Oct. 11, 1896, the crew of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station, led by Capt. Richard Etheridge, accomplished a valiant rescue and saved every man on board. This new documentary from DreamQuest Productions relates the story of these authentic heroes.
Music of the Carolinas: Film: “A Singing Stream: A Black Family Chronicle”
Sunday, May 9
Follow the Landis family of Granville County, whose members have been singing gospel music for generations. The film includes interviews, stories, and scenes from reunions and concerts. This program is presented with PineCone.
History à la Carte: Indian Education and Jim Crow
Wednesday, May 12
Bring your lunch; beverages provided.
Walker Elliott, Student, UNC-Chapel Hill
Elliott, winner of the 2010 Student Essay Contest, will discuss how, before World War II, the University of North Carolina’s policy of racial segregation effectively closed the door to higher education for Robeson County’s Lumbee Indians.
*Make It, Take It: Blimps
Saturday, May 15
1-3 p.m. (drop-in program)
Make a model blimp, then learn more about their use during World War II by visiting the exhibit A Call to Arms.
Celebrate North Carolina: Turning Points in African American History
Saturday, May 22
9:30-11:15 a.m. At 9 a.m. coffee and doughnuts will be available.
During this panel discussion, Dr. Tyson will center on the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot, Dr. Hildebrand will discuss the impact of the Civil War on African Americans in North Carolina, and Dr. Kelley will focus on the Civil Rights movement. Dr. Jeffrey J. Crow, Deputy Secretary, N.C. Office of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, will serve as moderator.
Information about each panelist follows.
Dr. Timothy B. Tyson, Senior Research Scholar, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and Visiting Professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture, Duke Divinity School. Tyson is the author of Blood Done Sign My Name, which was recently released as a motion picture.
Dr. Reginald F. Hildebrand, Associate Professor, Department of African and Afro-American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill.
Dr. Blair LM Kelley, Assistant Professor, Department of History, N.C. State University.
For more information about these programs, call 919-807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org or Facebook®. The museum is located at 5 E. Edenton St., across from the State Capitol. Parking is available in the lot across Wilmington Street.
* marks programs of interest to children or families
The N.C. Museum of History’s hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, an agency of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The department’s Web site is www.ncculture.com.