Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project: Our Pictures and Stories
The history of Durham, North Carolina, though not long, is rich, and no aspect of it is richer than that of its African-American community. From the neighborhood that was Hayti to the businesses on Parrish Street—"Black Wall Street," to the Durham blues, from the first African-American female Episcopal priest to the founders of the first black-owned insurance company in the U.S., Durham has many stories to tell. The Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project focuses on one set of those stories—those about the Civil Rights Movement in Durham. The project's main focus has been to collect photographs depicting the movement in Durham. Oral histories of Durham's civil rights era have also been gathered by the project. These stories and images only begin to tell the story of events that happened here and changes that came about because of them.
Project participants held their first meeting May 1, 2003, and immediately began to plan collection days to be held at various sites around Durham. The group sponsored three collection days—at the Durham County Library, Hayti Heritage Center, and St. Joseph's AME Church. Sixteen stories were recorded and nearly 125 photographs were collected from both private individuals and professional photographers. The public art project of the Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project features eleven 6’ fabric banners incorporating photographs, quotes from interviews with local people, and text to depict some of the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Durham.
Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project Sponsors
Center for Documentary Studies
Duke University Libraries
Durham Business and Professional Chain
Durham County Library
Historic Preservation Society of Durham
John Hope Franklin Institute for Interdisciplinary and International Studies
McKissick Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Museum of History
St. Joseph's A.M.E. Church
St. Joseph's Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center
White Rock Baptist Church
Union Baptist Church
The Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project exhibit as well as the collection phase of the project were made possible by grants from the Friends of the Durham County Library. Thanks, Friends!
To Submit a Photograph or Obtain a Copy of a Photograph
To inquire about obtaining a copy of a photograph, contact the North Carolina Collection librarian. If you have photographs and would like to have them become part of this collection, also contact the North Carolina librarian. Your pictures will be scanned, a negative shot, and the originals returned to you, along with a scan of each as a thank you.
Lynn Richardson, North Carolina Collection librarian
North Carolina Room
Durham County Library
300 N. Roxboro Street
PO Box 3809
Durham, NC 27702