On Thursday, November 17, Dr. Reginald Hildebrand presents “The First Year of Freedom in North Carolina: Pursuing Freedom with the Hoe and the Sword, the Book and the Lord” in the African American Lecture Series at Tryon Palace. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in Cullman Performance Hall at the North Carolina History Center, 529 S. Front Street in New Bern. Admission is free.
Dr. Hildebrand, Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, uses first-hand accounts to illustrate some of the ways in which freedom was experienced in North Carolina in 1865. Included are the accounts of black soldiers entering Wilmington in February, the first 4th of July celebration of the freed people, and a ‘watch night’ service in Raleigh to mark both New Years and the first anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Professor Hildebrand received his BA and MA from Howard University and his PhD from Princeton. He has served as Interim Director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History at UNC – Chapel Hill, and now serves as chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute of African American Research at that university. His research focuses on the period of Emancipation and Reconstruction, although he is currently working on a collection of essays entitled “Engaging Blackness: Body, Mind, and Spirit; the Perspectives of Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Howard Thurman.”
Editor’s note: The above is a press release from Craven County