Rocky Mount NC – 4 Things You Didn’t Know About Rocky Mount’s African-American Heritage

Of course, you recognize the name Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but what about Rev. George Dudley?  You’ve grooved to the smooth jazz of Thelonious Monk, but do you know about Luther Barnes?

Rocky Mount Has a Rich African American Heritage

thelonius monk plaque rocky mountIt’s reflected in the Douglas Block and Booker T. Theater, which were the cornerstones of the African-American community in Rocky Mount, NC from the 1920s through desegregation.
Most of the history of African-American communities isn’t written down, but passed down from generation to generation through oral history. While most African American residents lived outside the city limits, the Douglas Block, located downtown, was the hub for African-American businesses, movie theaters and other establishments. It was a center of culture that
fought unemployment and provided job opportunities.
Today, those buildings have been renovated, ensuring they will convey a sense of pride, purpose and inspiration for generations to come.
Rocky Mount recognizes this heritage with events such as the
Juneteenth Community Empowerment Festival.  But beyond the celebrations, there may be some facts about the area’s African American heritage you don’t know. (Read more)

First woman tapped as water supervisor – Rocky Mount Telegram (LJK)

The Political Agitator’s response: So it appears that Rochelle Small-Toney is putting folk in place that she feels are experienced and qualified. It appears that Amanda James is the one to lead the Rocky Mount WRD. Congrats Amanda James!

Rocky Mount’s Water Resources Department has promoted its first woman to serve as superintendent.

Amanda James, a 21-year employee of the city, began her new role last month as superintendent of Water Quality Services.

James said she realized how bringing together people with different backgrounds can make for better service in the department during her previous position as laboratory supervisor at the Tar River Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility.

“Women provide a different perspective and having diversity at all levels of management in the Water Resources industry as a whole benefits everyone,” James said.

No stranger to hard work, the wife and mother of two children earned her master’s degree in public administration in December, maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average throughout the program.

“I’m someone who likes being challenged,” James said. “I want to serve Rocky Mount to the best of my abilities, and this is one way for me to do that.” (Read more)