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Arts & Culture

Freedom 150: Commemorating The Lives Of Former Slaves After The Civil War

An image of the Stagville barn
UNC
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Events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War are wrapping up. Organizers will mark the freedom of hundreds of slaves after the war Saturday, May 30, at the Stagville Historic site in Durham.

The event is called “Freedom 150.”  Jerome Bias sits on the Historic Stagville Foundation Board.  He says they are trying to make sure slavery is not forgotten.

“Most of the events celebrating or acknowledging the Civil War and the events around the Civil War that we have been experiencing here in North Carolina have been focusing on the European Americans and not much on the African American experience," said Bias.

"Freedom 150" will feature first-person interpreters at Stagville, which was one of the largest slave plantations in the south.  The event will also feature authentic food from that time, song and tours.  Events will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bias says experts will be on hand to explain how slaves had to transition to freedom. 

“They’ll be talking about how do they figure out how to make money.  How do they find other family members they might have lost long ago? said Bias.  "They’ll be expressing some of the material cultural things they used to sustain themselves.”

Quilt-making was an important part of life on plantations.  There will be a quilt exhibit in one of the slave dwellings that eventually became a home for share-croppers.  

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