Black History Month at the Museum

Black History Month started in 1926 as “Negro History Week,” a term coined by noted African American historian and scholar, Carter G. Woodson. Finally, 50 years later in 1976, Black History Month officially became a month-long celebration.

Check out these videos, educational resources, blogs and podcasts the North Carolina Museum of History offers, helping to share the stories, hardships, contributions and experiences of African Americans in North Carolina!

Previous Programs

Watch previous Black history related programs on any or all of the following topics:

  • Breaking Color Lines at the Beach
  • Hip Hop Diplomacy
  • The Fate of Raleigh's 11 Missing Freedmen's Villages
  • One Nation Under a Groove: The Life and Music of George Clinton
  • The Second Reconstruction: MLK, FBM, and MDV, 1960-1966
  • North Carolina and the Birth of Funk Music
  • Black Maternal Health and the History of Eugenics in North Carolina
  • HBCUs and Black Leadership
  • The Wilmington Coup of 1898
  • Artisan Jewelry with History
  • Pauli Murray House
  • The History of Female Superheroes
  • Quilt Stories
  • Ella Baker, Shaw, and SNCC: The Woman, the HBCU, and the Movement
  • Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality
  • Durham Royal Ice Cream Parlor Sit-In

Watch here


Ernie Barnes

Phil Freelon

John V. Brown Concert

Nnenna Freelon Concert

T.S. Monk Concert

Interview with Negro Leagues Legend Hall of Fame Member, Clifford Layton

History of Juneteenth

Abraham Galloway

John Chavis

Congresswoman Eva Clayton

Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson

35th U.S. Colored Troops

Bits of History Podcasts

A Personal Connection to HBCUs, a conversation between Taneya Thompson, undergraduate at North Carolina Central University, and André Vann, coordinator of University Archives and instructor of Public History at the university.

Taneya Thompson, a 2018 summer Museum of History intern, hosted this podcast—which explores her experiences as a student at NCCU, one of 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in North Carolina—with André Vann, whose own higher education is deeply intertwined in the culture and mission of HBCUs. Approximate run time: 28 minutes.


Ernie Barnes and the Merger of Art and Athlete, a conversation with Luz Rodriguez, trustee of the Ernie Barnes Estate

Noted for his unique style of elongation and movement, artist Ernie Barnes was the first American professional athlete to become a noted painter. His work as an artist led him far from his home in Durham, yet his childhood roots remained a constant influence as shown in an exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of History, The North Carolina Roots of Artist Ernie Barnes (June 29, 2018–March 3, 2019). Approximate run time: 29 minutes.


Pauli Murray and the Long Civil Rights Movement, a conversation with Rosalind Rosenberg, professor of history emerita, Columbia University

The brilliant legal writings of Durham’s Pauli Murray challenged civil rights barriers not only for African Americans but also for women and people with disabilities. In her book, Jane Crow: The Life and Times of Pauli Murray, Rosenberg discusses how Murray’s contributions continue to resonate within the legal community and our country’s quest for social justice. Approximate run time: 32 minutes.


Civil War Regugees and the Struggle for Freedom, a talk by Chandra Manning, associate professor of History at Georgetown University, about her new book, "Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War."

Manning discusses how enslaved people escaped to Union held territory during the Civil War and the system of refugee camps that were established. 


Charles Chesnutt and Questions of Race in American Fiction, a conversation with Charles S. Duncan, professor of English, William Peace University

Charles Chesnutt was the first major African American fiction writer who tackled the issue of race as a realist. Writing with complexity, irony, and personal insight, his work maintains its relevancy for today’s readers. Approximate run time: 31 minutes.


Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery, a Lincoln Symposium lecture by Loren Schweninger, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Professor Schweninger sheds light on the relationship between Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln and how that relationship influenced Lincoln’s views on slavery. Fifth of six lectures. Approximate run time: 26 minutes.


The Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony, an interview with Patricia C. Click, professor emeritus in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Virginia

Professor Click discusses her research examining a second “Lost Colony” on Roanoke Island that occurred during, and shortly after, the American Civil War. Approximate run time: 24 minutes.


United States Colored Troops, a Lincoln Symposium lecture by John David Smith, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Professor Smith discusses the decision to recruit African Americans and the effect of the United States Colored Troops on the outcome of the Civil War. Fourth of six lectures. Approximate run time: 54 minutes


Was I Born for This? North Carolina Slave Voices, a talk given by Lucinda MacKethan, Professor of English Emerita, North Carolina State University

MacKethan discusses the way in which African American writers in the 19th century fought against slavery and racism using the power of the written word. She includes the narratives of Harriet Jacobs, Moses Roper, and Lunsford Lane and the poetry of George Moses Horton. Approximate run time: 1 hour 2 minutes.