Roots of Hope: Rediscovering the Legacy of John Hunter

September 9, 2020

Hunter family members discuss research documents with Ernie Dollar of the COR Museum

Virtual Premiere and Family Discussion

City of Raleigh Museum staff have been working to uncover more of the African American history of the Dorothea Dix Park site. Through research by City historians, a remarkable family tree now exists connecting “Uncle” John Hunter, an enslaved person on the Spring Hill Plantation born in the 1760s, to families living in Washington D.C. and New York. 

In November 2019, descendants of John Hunter traveled to Raleigh to learn more about their ancestors’ important contributions to the City, State and beyond. Join Dix Park and COR Museum for the debut of the new documentary created by the City of Raleigh that follows the Hunter descendants as they explore their recently uncovered Raleigh roots dating back 225 years.

What: Roots of Hope: Rediscovering the Legacy of John Hunter
When: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Where: The virtual event will be conducted via City of Raleigh YouTube Live

Following the virtual premiere, hear from family members about their experience of discovery and connection in a Q&A discussion with Wannetta Worthy, Melissa Daniels, and Ritchie Dean of the Hunter family, along with Valerie Johnson, chair of the NC African American Heritage Commission and City of Raleigh Museum Director, Ernest Dollar. 

Have a question for the Hunter family for the Q&A discussion? Send us your questions in advance to by September 16.


Roots of Hope title slide

Watch the trailer for the new documentary from City of Raleigh.


About Dorothea Dix Park
Dorothea Dix Park is the site of one of the most exciting new park projects in America. 308-acre site blends historic architecture and rich landscapes into a unique destination in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina. The effort to create Dorothea Dix Park is a public-private partnership between the City of Raleigh and Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy. The City owns and operates Dorothea Dix Park. The Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that exists to support the City by serving as its philanthropic partner.

About City of Raleigh Museum
The COR Museum was founded as the Raleigh City Museum in 1993. In 2011, the City of Raleigh took over operations of the museum and is now part of the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department. Located at 220 Fayetteville St., the museum features exhibits, displays and programs that highlight the history and culture of North Carolina’s capital city. The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 4 pm, Sunday 1 – 4 pm and can be reached at 919-996-2220. For more information visit