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North Carolina Freedom Park: Culture

This guide contains information about the creation of the NC Freedom Park and its board members; an overview of African American history in North Carolina; and the themes of freedom as they relate to culture, education, and business and law.


Image Credit: "Julian Abele" Duke University

Julian Francis Abele (April 30, 1881-April 23, 1950)


Image credit: Oliver Nestus Freeman, NC Collections, DigitalNC

Oliver Nestus Freeman (Feb. 22,1882-Sept. 28,1995)
Brick and Stonemason

  • Mattson, Richard L. “The Cultural Landscape of a Southern Black Community: East Wilson, North Carolina, 1890 to 1930.” Landscape Journal 11, no. 2 (1992): 144–59.
  • JSTOR article, accessible online

  • Spellman, Charles G. “The Black Press: Setting the Political Agenda During World War II.” Negro History Bulletin 51/57, no. 1/12 (1993): 38–42.


Image Credit: David Walker (1785-1830), Documenting the American South

David Walker (Sept. 28, 1758-June 28, 1830)

Writer and Radical Abolitionist

  • David Walker
    Biographical NCpedia Article about David Walker 
  • David Walker's Appeal
    NCpedia article about David Walker's Appeal
  • David Walker's Appeal
    "Walker's Appeal, in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America, Written in Boston, State of Massachusetts, September 28, 1829" in Documenting the American South, UNC Chapel Hill.

William C. Smith (Born Feb. 12, 1856)

Newspaper Editor 


Image Credit: Lucean Arthur Headen - an African American inventor in Camberley, by Dr. Jill D. Snider, Surrey Heritage

Lucean Arthur Headen (Aug. 26, 1879- Sept. 17, 1957)

Aviator and Inventor 

Image Credit: "Mary Kenner (1912-2006)" 

Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner (May 17, 1912- Jan. 13, 2006)


Additional Sources

Asukile, Thabiti. “The All-Embracing Black Nationalist Theories of David Walker’s Appeal.” The Black Scholar 29, no. 4 (1999): 16-24.

Bishir, Catherine W. “Black Builders in Antebellum North Carolina.” The North Carolina Historical Review 61, no. 4 (1984): 423-61.

Finseth, Ian. “David Walker, Nature’s Nation, and Early African-American Separatism.” The Mississippi Quarterly 54, no. 3 (2001): 337-62.

Jarrett, Gene Andrew. “‘To Refute Mr. Jefferson’s Arguments Respecting Us’: Thomas Jefferson, David Walker, and the Politics of Early African American Literature.” Early American Literature 46, no. 2 (2011): 291–318.

Spellman, Charles G. “The Black Press: Setting the Political Agenda During World War II.” Negro History Bulletin 51/57, no. 1/12 (1993): 38-42.