Students become historian adventurers. In the program’s first year, they traced the influences of West African building techniques from Stagville to Asheville, worked on a virtual 3D historic barn, built their own 19th-century framing joints, and traveled to Historic Jamestown and Coastal Virginia to explore how the food of enslaved people became incorporated into our culture. The second year focused on “The Great Migration,” the early 20th-century movement of large numbers of African-Americans from the South to the North, and its effect on literature, music and more. Research included travels to Wilmington and to Harlem, New York.
The third year of the program kicked off in August with a one-week immersion program and will continue with field trips and monthly meetings throughout the school year. The focus is on how African-American craftspeople managed to secure their own and their families’ manumission and make a living under the oppressive circumstances of the antebellum South.