The month of February has been designated Black History Month in order to recognize the Civil Rights struggles and celebrate the achievements of African-Americans across our nation. But you don’t have to go far to find landmarks and monuments steeped in history worth exploring. The diversity of our community is vital to the growth and sustainability of our regional culture. Take a day or two to tour, explore, and consider the role each of these had in moving our society to where it is today. It is an honor to live in an area with such a rich history. Here is an overview of a few of the sights I’d suggest exploring as you celebrate Black History Month in and around Winston-Salem, NC.
Located in the heart of Winston-Salem, Old Salem is rich in African-American history with many buildings and structures restored with stories of how African-Americans were integral to the Moravian settlement that would evolve into the modern city. Take an opportunity to visit God’s Acre, a cemetery from the 1770’s where African-Americans were buried side-by-side with those of European descent and then experience Salem Academy and College, which admitted its first African-American woman in 1785. Get started at the Old Salem Visitor Center at 900 Old Salem Road to ensure you don’t miss a sight or story.
C. Woolworth Building
Located in the heart of downtown Greensboro at 100 South Elm Street, the lunch counter at this location became famous as the first location where a peaceful sit-in was conducted by local African-American students. Credited as the starting point for non-violent responses to Civil Rights violation, the lunch counter and story are worth a visit to understand how small acts can make big differences.
Walkway of History
While you are in the Greensboro area, consider taking a self-guided tour on the Walkway of History that begins around February One Place near South Elm Street. As you follow six distinct sidewalk markers, you are taken along a route of events and history that range from the Underground Railroad to the appointment of the first state Supreme Court Justice and more.
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
Finally, consider a short trip outside of the Piedmont Triad to the Charlotte region and visit The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture. The site, located at 551 South Tryon Street in Charlotte, offers permanent and traveling exhibits which celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to the greater American culture. Nearly 47,000 square feet of exhibit space mean that there is plenty to see and experience.
Start with a look at the very unique exterior of the building, designed in a patchwork quilt pattern that is reminiscent of West African traditions and patterns used in the Underground Railroad. Then step inside and begin your journey through art, music, movements, dance, literature, community outreach, and more.
Celebrate Black History Month in NC
Our region is filled with markers and places where you can experience Black History Month, so don’t let these suggested places restrain you from exploring further and truly understanding the pivotal role this region played and continues to play in the Civil Rights movement and celebrating the role of African-Americans in our communities.
Contact me for more info, Ellen Dudley, RE/MAX Preferred Properties, 336-575-7249