Tag Archives: events

Winners announced for inaugural Parker-Dooley Award for Undergraduate Research in Southern Studies

We are proud to announce the recipients of the 2009 Parker-Dooley Award, honoring exceptional undergraduate research papers based on sources in the Southern Historical Collection.  Recipients receive a monetary award, and they will present their papers at a program hosted by the Southern Historical Collection on Friday, October 8, 2010.

  • Winner: Rachel Shope, “All the Writing Ladies: Three Women Writers of the Nineteenth Century”
  • Honorable Mention: Katherine Womble, “Myra Page Papers: Her Childhood and Self-Actualization (1897-1935)”

Diverse Communities Bus Tour of Historic Durham: the Hayti Heritage Center

Holly inside St. Joseph's

Holly inside St. Joseph's

Recently Holly, my colleague here at the Southern Historical Collection, and I got the chance to tag along on a bus tour of Durham, N.C., with the Department of City and Regional Planning here at UNC-Chapel Hill. The tour focused on planning and development activities in several areas of downtown Durham, and how history and community influences, informs, and becomes an integral part of those activities. Holly and I were amazed at how visible history was at some of the places we visited, and were surprised at how connected our work and our collections at the SHC are to the work of these community organizers and city planners. We’d like to share a little bit about our trip, and connect some of the things we saw to materials we have here in the collection

Our first stop was at the Hayti Heritage Center, an African American cultural and educational center located in what was formerly the African American community of Hayti. The center, established in 1975, is based in the structure that was St. Joseph’s A.M.E. Church, a National Historic Landmark built in 1891. The space is now used to preserve the heritage of the neighborhood and the church, and holds programs aimed at “advancing cultural understanding and examining the experiences of Americans of African descent — locally, nationally and globally.”

Jessica inside the Hayti Heritage Center

Jessica inside the Hayti Heritage Center

At the center, we heard from J. C. “Skeepie” Scarborough, a funeral services director whose family and business have been a part of Hayti for generations. He described how unique Durham was for its thriving African American community in the early to mid-20th century, which boasted African American-owned businesses, a hosptial, a college, and an active music and cultural scene. He also discussed growing up in Hayti, what it was like during the Civil Rights movement, the role of the church in community organizing, and how the neighborhood was lost during “urban renewal” efforts in the 1960s, especially due to the construction of the Durham Freeway.

St. Joseph's A.M.E. Church programs, 1960 and 1962, with voter registration enclosure (from the William Jesse Kennedy Papers)

St. Joseph's A.M.E. Church programs, 1960 and 1962, with voter registration enclosure (from the William Jesse Kennedy Papers)

We are fortunate to have a number of collections related to Hayti here in the Southern, including:

William Jesse Kennedy Papers (finding aid)
White Rock Baptist Church Records (finding aid)
William A. Clement Papers (finding aid)

You can also listen to digitized oral histories about Hayti. For instance, Margaret Kennedy Goodwin talks about the close-knit African American community in Durham during the 1930s and 1940s, and the role of religion her her family’s life (listen to Margaret Kennedy Goodwin’s Oral History interview). Be sure to look for Holly’s upcoming post about our tour of Durham’s Parrish Street, also known as Black Wall Street.

New Book Examines the Life of Chief Justice Susie Sharp (1907-1996); Biographer Anna Hayes to Speak at Wilson Library 9/11/2008

From left to right: Justices J. Will Pless Jr., Susie Sharp, William H. Bobbitt, R. Hunt Parker (Chief Justice), Carlisle W. Higgins, I. Beverly Lake, and Joseph Branch

From left to right: Justices J. Will Pless Jr., Susie Sharp, William H. Bobbitt, R. Hunt Parker (Chief Justice), Carlisle W. Higgins, I. Beverly Lake, and Joseph Branch

Susie Marshall Sharp (1907-1996) of Reidsville, N.C., attorney and jurist, was elected chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1974, becoming the first woman elected chief justice of a state supreme court in the United States. A graduate of the North Carolina College for Women and the University of North Carolina School of Law, Sharp began the practice of law in Reidsville in 1929. She served as Reidsville city attorney, 1939-1949; North Carolina superior court judge until 1962; and as supreme court justice, 1962-1979.

Sharp’s family background, her career as an attorney, judge and politician, and her previously unexamined private life are recounted in a new book by Anna Hayes, Without Precedent: The Life of Susie Marshall Sharp.

Published by the University of North Carolina Press, the book will be launched Sept. 11, in Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The free public program will be at 5:45 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room. For program information, contact Liza Terll (919-962-4207). A full event notice is available from the main UNC Library website.

In writing Without Precedent, Hayes drew heavily from the personal and professional papers of Susie Sharp which are preserved in the Southern Historical Collection (SHC). The SHC will exhibit several selected items from the Sharp Papers in the lobby of Wilson Library during the book release event. The photograph above will be among those displayed.  Join us September 11, 2008 to view other items from the Sharp papers and to hear a great presentation.