City of Raleigh Museum
Programs + Events

African American History Symposium

African American Symposium banner including a 19th century photo of two African American women.

The 4th Annual African American History Symposium, presented by the City of Raleigh Museum, features two lectures that explore the transformation from slavery to freedom in our own community. 

Craig James, Johnston County attorney and African American history collector, will discuss images from his personal collection of early African American photographs. James’ library of rare photos captures the transformation from slavery to freedom and the emergence of a new black identity. A native North Carolinian, James is a descendant from slaves on the Spring Hill Plantation in Pender County. Among his collection are images of his family, “Nursey” James, who was born into slavery and lived into the 20th century.

Also speaking will be City of Raleigh Museum director, Ernest Dollar, who will share new research and efforts to locate descendants of the enslaved community from the Spring Hill Plantation in Raleigh - now the site of Dorothea Dix Park. During research on the museum’s latest exhibit, From Plantation to Park, Dollar discovered the story of John Hunter, born in the 1760s, and traced eight generations of his family to New York. In November 2019, members of John’s family traveled to Raleigh to learn about their historic roots and the future of the new park. 

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 PM

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the City of Raleigh Museum at (919) 996-2220.


Location: City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC 27601