Tarboro NC – Confederate Monument Tarboro Town Council Need To Be Removed

So tell me again why you are fighting to keep the statue because what you having been saying was a lie?

I don’t have Facebook Contact for the other Town Council folk so hopefully somebody will share it with them.


Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina | Edgecombe County Confederate Monument, Tarboro

The monument consists of a tall granite column standing on a pedestal. At the top of the column stands a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier, who wears a hat and rests both his hands on his rifle. The rifle’s stock is planted on the…

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Source: Edgecombe County Confederate Monument, Tarboro

  • Monument Name

    Edgecombe County Confederate Monument, Tarboro

  • Type

    Common Soldier Statue

  • Subjects

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • Creator

    American Bronze Foundry, Chicago, IL, Foundry

    Cockade Marble Works, Petersburg, VA, Builder

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    The monument consists of a tall granite column standing on a pedestal. At the top of the column stands a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier, who wears a hat and rests both his hands on his rifle. The rifle’s stock is planted on the ground in front of the soldier. At the base of the monument are symbols of the Confederacy, including the rebel flag inside a cross and the seal of the Confederate States of America.

  • Inscription

    Rear: ERECTED OCT. 29, 1904

  • Dedication Date

    October 29, 1904

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.900440 , -77.535970 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      “Town Common and Confederate Monument, Tarboro, N.C.” in North Carolina Postcard Collection (P052), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill Link

      “Town Commons Showing Confederate Monument, Tarboro, N.C.,” in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill, (accessed December 10, 2012) Link

      Confederate Veteran 19 (1911), 102 Link

      Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments, An Illustrated History, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2013), 80-84

      Hardy, Charles C. Images of America: Remembering North Carolina’s Confederates, (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2006), (accessed February 8, 2012) Link

      Smith, Blanche Lucas. North Carolina’s Confederate Monuments and Memorials, (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1941)

    Show More Sources

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Polished gray granite base and column, bronze statue.

  • Sponsors

    The Daughters of the Confederacy – William Dorsey Prender Chapter

  • Monument Cost


  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    Two children, Katherine Wimberly Bourne and William Dorsey Pender, Jr. unveiled the monument. Bourne was a granddaughter of Civil War Governor, Henry T. Clark and Pender was the grandson of Confederate General William Dorsey Pender. When unveiled three shots were fired by the Edgecombe Guards as the band played “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.” Julian S. Carr delivered the day’s featured oration. Although in attendance Governor Charles B. Aycock was not on the program. After the speeches and benediction “Dixie” was played to end the ceremony.

  • Subject Notes

    The dedication was held without the statue present. It did not arrive from the foundry in Chicago until the following week.

  • Location

    The monument is on North Main Street (U.S. 64), on the right when traveling north, Tarboro, NC 27886. It is located in the town common that was established in 1760 by the legislative act which crated the colonial town of Tarboro. Several other memorials are located nearby, including USS Maine Memorial and Henry Lawson Wyatt Memorial Fountain.

  • Landscape

    The memorial stands in a large park, Tarboro’s Town Common that is one of two remaining original town commons in the United States, the other one being in Boston.

Know anything else about this monument that isn’t mentioned here? If you have additional information on this or any other monument in our collection fill out the form at the Contact Us link in the footer. Thank you.

Tarboro NC – Fun Fact, The Fountain Is Racist Too! Fountain On The Town Commons

Alyssa Ruffing

Fun fact, the fountain is racist too. Words said at its unveiling:

A local choir sang “The Old Confederate, He’s good enough for me,” after which George Fountain introduced the speaker of the day, Colonel John L. Bridges the captain of the Edgecombe Guards at the time of Wyatt’s death. He spoke of the meaning and importance of monuments to the Southerner saying, “War may change and settle a policy, but it can never change or destroy a principle, therefore the south was right in fighting for the principle of her people. It is very gratifying to see and know and see that the heroic deed… is being written in stone and bronze…”

I also feel like, as white people, we can’t just excuse the racism with “oh its pretty so it can stay”. That doesn’t sit well with me. Just because it’s pretty doesn’t make it ok.


Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina | Henry Lawson Wyatt Memorial Fountain, Tarboro


Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina | Henry Lawson Wyatt…

Tarboro NC – Tarboro Town Council Took No Vote On Removing The Monument On The Town Commons

I was wondering where WHIG-TV was today during the Rocky Mount City Council meeting so I learned they were in Tarboro at the Tarboro Town Council Meeting.

I understand that during Public Comments Monika Fleming historian of Edgecombe County and her husband started out the conversation about the monument on the Town Common.

I understand Rev. Kenneth Parker, Marquetta Dickens and Alissa Ruffin to remove monument. Commissioner Viola Harris said she lives across the street from the statue and she agreed with the Caucasians who support not taking it down and the people need to vote on it. Harris said let the people vote. Doris Stith interviewed young people and elderly and they all wanted it to go. Rev. J.O. Williams spoke about a cross being burned in his yard. Quincy Robinson said need to write the wrong.

I understand there were several Caucasians who spoke in support of not removing the statue.

I understand the 3 Black council members were for removing the statue while the Caucasian members were all against.

I can’t wait to see who all did speak especially to see how many that attended the Sympathy Walk that spoke either in favor or against removing the Confederate Monument.

I understand WHIG-TV videoed so the meeting so I look forward to watching the video.

Information was from some sources that attended the meeting.

#Blacklivesmatter #Iwatchedvideo
#Iamnotok #Ibeenengagedbeforenow
#Coronavirusstayfocused #Stayhome

 Curmilus Butch Dancy II 2020



The Owner White Female Betty Perrin NeSmith Of Tarboro 27886 Facebook Page Responds To The Political Agitator Why She Kicked Me Off Of The Page Due To The Heated Debate Over “Black Family Day”

First, let me state that I was not the Anonymous poster who asked you for a spelling correction.  Secondly, shortly after your "adventure in Agitation" on Tarboro 27886, I had had enough of the ugliness and negative energy coming from Tarboro citizens and chose to "share the wealth" of group administration with others so that I might be able to separate myself somewhat from the group.

<em>(It does not matter if it was you or not because I didn’t have your name spelled correctly and I corrected it. For me that was fair game.) C. Dancy II </em>

I chose Rhonda Krebs, John Wooten and Jason Clark. Why did I choose them?  I’m personal friends with Rhonda and John, and see them both as intelligent open-minded individuals. Jason, I only know through the internet and we’ve differed in opinion on many subjects but I thought he’d add a balance.  If you’d like me to add another black person to the list of administrators, just ask (as long as it is not you).

<em>(I don’t give a damn who you add to the list because I will just read the mess. Someone had added me back as a member and I removed myself because I made my point. Plus Rhonda Krebs did a great job of addressing the ignant posters and that was enough for me.) C. Dancy II</em>

As for "kicking off" Ms Marshall?  I wanted to…oh, boy, how I wanted to, but I left it up to the other administrators and after a brief discussion with one agreed that we would allow Ms Marshall to continue to show her "ignance" as you put it….and she did, for over 8 hours.
(Oh but you had no problem with kicking me off. She and the others were saying what you wanted to say and you have continued to agree with some ignant comments even commented on the post about why the "Black Family Day" group didn’t combine with Princeville. Oh how ignant!? C. Dancy II</em>
You can take pride in knowing that you, Curmilus Dancy, have been the ONLY person removed from that group and I did indeed do the deed…

<em>(Oh hell no I can pride myself for removing myself when another person had added me back to the group.) C. Dancy II</em>

BEFORE asking to join the group, you stated here on your website as well as on your facebook page that you wanted to see how long you’d be "allowed" to stay in the group, and then did your best to be obnoxious.

<em>(I hate ignance: By the way when I post on my blog it automatically post to my Facebook Page and Twitter thank you. I posted this after you kicked me off the page. Here it is so others can read it. I didn’t do this in the past refer to this link because I knew one day I would use it. I knew we would cross paths because I am a Professional Agitator and you have been agitated. Again I repeat I posted this after you kicked me off. Too damn funny but typical of folks who try to discredit folks but end up making an a.. out of themselves. So here is what I said: Yep I know I am damn good because I didn’t last 24 hours on the https://www.facebook.com/groups/tarboro27886/ page because I was wearing their behinds out. I proved my point, they could not comment on the facts. I asked them repeatedly did the Tarboro Town Council follow their own policies and procedures, are all black folks racist, is Remi Muhammad a racist and is all Muslims racist? So they must feel they have silenced me. Well it didn’t start on their page and it definitely will not end there. LMBAO!! C. Dancy II </em>

I assume this was done to prove to your loyal readers that the 800+ members of that discussion forum were all "ignant racist white folks" who wouldn’t tolerate the opinions of an outspoken black man.

<em>(Don’t continue to show your ignance, I stated "IGNANT RACIST WHITE FOLKS" so that mean I was not talking about all white folks. Also I specified many times that I was referring to the "IGNANT RACIST WHITE WOMEN" because that is who I was responding to because you and they were the ones posting.) C. Dancy II</em>

That’s not true at all. I just wouldn’t tolerate YOU and your deliberate "agitation". 

(Deliberate "agitation"? I asked that ya’ll not focus on Remi and Melvin Muhammad and the fight was with the Town Council. I said they didn’t appear to be racist to me. I said the issue is did the Town follow their policies and procedures. Obviously they did because if you have forgotten the Black Family Day was granted.

<em>Also ya’ll ignant a… wanted the event moved from The Tarboro Town Commons, the name of the event to be changed for ya’ll but most of all ya’ll wanted these folks to just go away. One of ya’ll said you were going to contact the black churches and try to get them to go against the group. Oh hell no I will not sit by allow ya’ll to show your Ignant Racist Attitudes trying to speak for black people. Damn about to forget some of ya’ll tried to make it appear that black folks do not pay taxes.) C. Dancy II</em>

If any of your readers followed your "adventure" they know what I’m talking about…you were having a grand time.

<em>(You damn right I am having grand time responding to ya’ll ignance. Again I repeat I will not allow you and your Ignant Racist Friends speak for me and the black folks whom allow me to speak for them.) C. Dancy II</em>

As for your question to "black folks who are members of Tarboro 27886"… I hope they are members to 1) stay informed about issues in Tarboro, 2) voice their opinion, 3) monitor the posts of others to be aware of who the "ignant racist white folks" are, 4) help to eventually create a forum where we can all discuss community issues in a productive manner.

<em>(Productive manner when you created the damn page but then want to hide behind your Ignant Racist Attitude by saying you left it up to 3 people to remove others off when you have now agreed with me on the Marshall woman being allowed to show her Ignant Racist Attitude but I guess it was a white woman thing for you.

And by the way John Wooten do not speak for me. I pick and choose who speak for me be they black, brown, white and other.

Oh hell no I am not interested in giving you a name of a black person to be an administrator on your facebook page. I don’t need anyone to speak for me because I do a damn good job of doing it for myself and for those who allow me to speak for them.) C. Dancy II</em>

I would like to see more "black folks" join in the discussions. The group, Tarboro 27886, wasn’t formed to be a "white" discussion page, it was formed for all Tarboro citizens. The internet has made it possible for people who have never had a voice to be heard. Some are spewing out all they’ve ever wanted to say, while others are still holding back, still not comfortable with their opinions be known. I personally WANT to know what is on the minds of all of my neighbors, what they want, how they feel about issues and how we can all work together to make our town a better place for everyone who lives here.
Namaste’.  Betty

<em>(Well damn you had a problem with me responding to your Ignant Racist White Women members. You have given two reasons why you kicked me off but you have yet to show me what they were. But I can read the post and see for myself that I didn’t do anymore than the Ignant Racist White Women did and atleast one white women agreed that if I was to be put in timeout there were many others.

And by the way it was one of your Ignant Racist White Women who had mentioned early on that you should kick me off. You responded to her and said to me to be kind. So I continued to be kind in my opinion but I was still kicked off.

But Mrs. Betty it started here: August 4, 2011 Curmilus Butch Dancy II
Glad someone mentioned this site to me today. Interesting comments. One would think that whomever started the group would invite folks to the group but maybe they do but I was not invited. But now that I am here, I do plan to voice my opinion. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

The Ignant Racist White Women started with this post and I had not even responded to the Black Family Ignance nor the post about Edgecombe County Public Schools Superintendent leaving.

It was Cissy Abrams Edwards who said, There is no need to call someone stupid ! Regina is not stupid and a friend for many years. If you joined this page to give insults then I hope Betty blocks you. This has nothing to with race but you want to it bring this page. The black family day is Nation of Islam event you should check out the page and the list of 28 hate groups in NC. There was no slave reenactment but civil war battle reenactment I do not see how you can take be offended by something that is a part of history. So please leave race out of the issue because if one of the other hate groups listed were having an event then I be just as upset that our town council approved an event without do their research.

So Mrs. Betty tell me how did I begin the ignance? I had not mentioned anything about The Black Family Day.

But you came to her defense, Betty Perrin NeSmith Curmilus, I started the group and invited all of the people in my "friends" list who live or have lived in the area (probably less than 100 people). They, in turn, invited their friends and so on. I can see that you and I share a handful of mutual friends and it would’ve been up to one of them to add or invite you. Please, let’s try to keep our discussions courteous. I know that you enjoy being known as an agitator, but I’d appreciate it if opinions were shared here in a constructive manner. My big concern for this forum is that a few very opinionated people with good communication/debate skills will over-power the conversation and intimidate from posting those who are less comfortable or skilled at expressing themselves. Be kind.

Remember me talking about I tried to be kind. Oh you are probably suffering from memory loss by now but like I said it is still posted on your facebook page.

I responded to Cissy Abrams Edwards You called folks ignorant in a post this morning and someone called folks idiots that I responded to. I didn’t mention slave reenactment in my post so don’t know where that came from.

Mrs. Betty I responded to you Betty Perrin NeSmith It is great how you invited folks. I just asked a question, the other Regina Forbes Shearin responded and I responded to her. Those mutual friends you speak of my message went to them just like you got it so no one was exempt. You said you know I enjoy being known as the agitator, nope enjoy being known by my name first because I have never hid behind a code name when posting anywhere. You say please be courteous well I see others here who are calling Muslims racist and all of that. Well I know Remi Muhammad and she has never appeared to be racist to me so to put all black folks in the same category is just ignant. You say be kind, well you need to tell those before me to be kind because I could have said much more in response to them and some others here. However I was trying to be kind but I see some are taking my kindness for my weakness. Not!! "I have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies only permanent interest and that goes for all folks including those mutual friends you speak of.

Maybe you need to go back and read all the post beginning on August 4 from the time I began posting on your page because you obviously you are ignant to the facts in my responses or you were so into what the Ignant Racist White Women were posting that you just got totally off base.

You told Taro that you kicked me off for profanity. I use damn and hell and it is used in the pulpit. Hell I hear much worse on the damn local tv damn station. Hell I heard the B-word on one of the all white shows on regular tv about 2 hours ago not long after "our" President went off.

In my closing I enjoyed your post that I also read about Tarboro and the Bucket. This is what you said on August 14, 2011, but I was kicked off on August 5.)</em>

August 14, 2011 Betty Perrin NeSmith I’ve been informed "privately" of the meaning and, since it originates from a less than positive view of T-Town, I’ll be keeping it to myself for now. 🙂 Thank you to my "secret source".

Thank you for responding and I do apologize for not posting your name correctly and it does not matter that it was not you that responded.) C. Dancy II – The Professional Agitator

You were agitated along with the others and you brought it out. That is what I do make others bring out that which is in them. LMBAO!!

You can take this response personal or whatever I call it healthy discussion because I had the opportunity to post facts. But do always remember I am not into people’s emotions but the real issue and that is policies and procedures. I will not debate people’s emotions, if I have a problem with policies and procedures I challenge those who are in position to get them changed. "I have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies only permanent interest."

Yes I know how to spell ignorance but see the definition of Ignant.

Note: Click on all words highlighted in blue to read more.

See related:

Black Family Day: Why Some Refuse To Applaud Its Success Source: Quincy W. Robinson

Ignant Column – “Black Family Day” Tarboro NC Has Been Moved To Indian Lake

Black Family Day Tarboro NC

Re-post: Tarboro NC – I Just Love How The Black Folks On Tarboro 27886 Stay A Member While Betty Perrin NeSmith Allows The Ignant Racist White Folks To Have Their Way

I just love it how all the black folks on the on Tarboro 27886 Facebook page stay a member while Betty Perrin NeSmith allows the Ignant Racist White Folks on Tarboro 27886 Facebook page to have their way. So why would any black folks in their right mind continue to be a member when Ignant Racist White Folks on Tarboro 27886 Facebook page have not been kicked off.

Cathy Mitchell Marshall posted she was just invited to the “Black Family Day” yesterday and when asked not to beat a deadhorse she continued on. And then later she admitted she had been following the conversation but chose not to say anything then but now she was.

Okay black folks who are members of Tarboro 27886 Facebook page why are you still a member?

Note: Click on all words highlighted in blue to read more.

See related:

Ignant Column – “Black Family Day” Tarboro NC Has Been Moved To Indian Lake

Black Family Day Tarboro NC

Note: Updated corrected spelling of Betty Perrin NeSmith’s name. Curmilus Dancy II – The Professional Agitator.

Tarboro NC – “Black Family Day” My Response To The White People Who Asked Me What The NAACP, Black People And I As An Individual Would Do If White People Wanted To Have A White Family Day On The Tarboro Town Commons

I am who I am so you can like me, love me and/or hate me it does not matter. This is a message to black, brown, white and other folks.

I am going to be me so I am going to do me on a daily basis. You have options when it comes to reading my blog so go figure. But remember I love all of you and it ain’t nothing you can do about it.

When I got involved in politics in the early 90’s it was a learning process. However I always kept a clear mind and didn’t go along just to get along be it in all black meetings and/or mixed meetings. I always tried to look at the whole picture be it issues in the black community or racial issues.

So today when people talk about racial issues I love it because I am not afraid to speak up publicly unlike most folks. I just love questions as it relates to race when it comes to the NAACP (National Association For The Advancement of Colored People), “Black Family Day” and other black related issues. I refuse to take a back seat to being black and I will not be apologetic for being born a black man. I am a proud black man and will be until the good master call me home. So anyone who has a problem with me expressing my blackness so be it.

I just love the questions what would black folks and I as an individual do if white people had a group similar to the NAACP, if white people had a “White Family Day” and other white etc.? I don’t care what white people do as long as it does not affect me in a negative way. I decided a long time ago that I will not spend time challenging emotions and will only spend my time challenging facts, policies and procedures and that which is measurable.

I don’t have to go into the many areas where black people are not welcomed such as certain golf courses, clubs and etc. however white people are always welcomed to the black clubs and hardly ever do you hear about any racial disputes.

So for all the white folks who asked me what I would have done if white people wanted to have a “White Family Day” on the Tarboro Town Commons, I am going to answer your question now. I would have done what I did when ya’ll had the Confederate Soldiers Re-enactment there among other things that I was not interested in. I did nothing because I had the option to attend or stay away. Well ya’ll said ya’ll had a problem with your tax dollars being used for the “Black Family Day” as if black folks don’t pay taxes. I tried to explain to ya’ll that the issue with the “Black Family Day” being held on The Commons should have been taken up with the Tarboro Town Council only and not attacking black folks with the negative comments.

I refuse to allow white people to pick and choose for me what kind of event black folks can host, what to call the event, and to act as if black people do not pay taxes just because we want to be afforded the same rights that they have. The Tarboro Town Commons is a public area so therefore I hope that people will be mindful that in the future if you disagree with what is requested to take place there that you go to the Tarboro Town Council and challenge them and not mislead and further divide the county.

As I view the pictures from the “Black Family Day” and read comments there were white people who attended and they spoke positive of the event.

So in my closing, I challenge white people and anyone who have a problem with the “Black Family Day” that was held on Saturday to tell me how the event, the event, I repeat the event divided the community? Tell me!! Oh had a Madea moment. I was not there because I was out of town, but I have not heard or read anything negative coming from anyone black or white that attended the event.

See related:

Black Family Day Tarboro NC

Tarboro 27886 Facebook page 

Black Family Day Facebook Page

TOWN UN-COMMON – Source: Daily Southerner

TARBORO — Neal and Nana Jackson said that they have spent many days strolling through the Tarboro Town Common, holding hands and soaking in the tranquility that the beautiful landscape and trees provide. (Read more)

Note: The “Black Family Day” was suppose to be held on the Tarboro Town Commons on Saturday, August 3 but the town held a special meeting on yesterday and the “Black Family Day” has been moved to Indian Lake.

See related:

Black Family Day Tarboro NC

Note: Click on all words highlighted in blue to read more.

Ignant Column – “Black Family Day” Tarboro NC Has Been Moved To Indian Lake

I see the Ignant Racist White Folks on Tarboro 27886 Facebook page are at it again. I see the owner and the administrators allow the Ignant Racist White Folks to continue to post their comments there even after they have asked them to stop beating a dead horse.

I Know I Am Damn Good When I Can Take On A Group Of Racist White Folks Who Are Protesting The Black Family Day In Tarboro NC because I was kicked off the Tarboro 27886 Facebook page and I was only trying to make the Ignant Racist White Folks understand the fight was not with the co-sponsors but with the Town of Tarboro. I said the fight should be if the town followed their own policies and procedures. Obviously they followed them because at the August 8 regular monthly meeting the town voted to allow the “Black Family Day” to be held on The Town Commons.

First of all I don’t give a damn if there is a “Black Family Day” held in Tarboro Edgecombe County where racism is alive and well. I also don’t give a damn if there is a “White Family Day,” or other “Family Day” held in Tarboro but if it was, it would be my decision to choose whether I want to attend.

The Tarboro Town Commons has had things held there such as the Confederate Soldiers Re-enactment and other things that I am quite sure that the majority of black folks didn’t give a damn about the events but their tax dollars were used. However I bet some blacks probably attended each of those events. I didn’t attend because I was not interested. But these Ignant Racist White Folks continue to talk about their tax dollars paying for the “Black Family Day” as if black folks do not pay taxes.

I found it right interesting there were little to no comments about “Black Family Day” on the Tarboro 27886 Facebook page since Hurricane Irene hit The Commons. But I figured the discussion was going on behind the scenes and I see it was after visiting the Tarboro 27886 Facebook page today. I visited it to see what they were saying since “Black Family Day” has been moved to Indian Lake. There was a special meeting held today at the Town Hall in regards to the event. I understand that atleast one councilman wanted the event postponed.

Although Joyce Jefferson a Tarboro 27886 Facebook page member has made several other comments not in favor of the “Black Family Day” she hit the nail on the head with the following statement. But like I have said before, The co-sponsors of the “Black Family Day” had the right to ask to have the event on The Common since the policies and procedures allowed it.

Joyce Jefferson I don’t think the Town Common should be used by any of us. We have two other areas that are more suitable for human use. Each area has picnic tables and restrooms facilities. I’m talking about Indian Lake and Braswell Center.

However Joyce Jefferson only mentioned the the 2 places above that are on the white side of town and didn’t mention the Ray Center/Clark Park that is on the black side of town. Do the Ray Center/Clark Park get the same attention as the Braswell Center? Go figure?

Until the policies and procedures are changed then the Town of Tarboro will have to honor just about any reasonable request from citizens and organizations to have events. But since the Ignant Racist White Folks are continuing to speak I bet there will be a change.

Note: Click on all words highlighted in blue to read more.

See related:

Black Family Day Tarboro NC

"Black Family Day 2011" in Tarboro, NC

Blessed Family!

Make a mental note "Black Family Day 2011" in Tarboro, NC. September 3rd from 11:00- 7:00pm. Lots of vendors, food, live music and a reggae sound system DJ. Family fun village for children with a special appearance from the Black Cowboys! For more info contact Remi @ 252-467-7153 and blackfamilyday2011@gmail.com. Visit “Black Family Day 2011” on Facebook.

See related:

Black Family Day

Black Family Day On The Tarboro Town Commons Has Generated Much Discussion In Edgecombe County, Will It Go Forward?

Black Family Day

The June 13, 2011 Tarboro Town Council meeting generated much discussion about the proposed Black Family Day on September 3, 2011, on the Town Commons. Much of the discussion centered on the word “Black.” Black Family Day is more than a picnic, it is a cultural event. Much of the discourse about Black Family Day is not so much the event, but the location. A friend suggested, “All the taxpaying citizens of Tarboro have a vested interest in The Town Commons – undivided shares.”

The lack of Black history being integrated into the United States History curriculum created a void that is with us in 21st century. Additionally, the failure to include Black history in the curriculum deprived citizens of an understanding, tolerance, and /or an appreciation for Black culture. Numerous comments via social media and letters to the editor, suggested the need for this event and others that will give all the communities in Tarboro an opportunity to learn about Black culture and acquire a much needed appreciation for cultural differences.

Slavery destroyed the Black family in the United States; however Black people survived at the hands of Black women who “extended” themselves to everybody’s children, not just blood relations. Hence, this was the emergence of the extended family.

The extended family was a positive benefit. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and unrelated neighbors provide moral and in some instances financial support. Rearing “others” children became an accepted practice in Black Family life. Caring for others within the family structure and community was not only a value carried over from the African legacy.

Family structures in America, regardless of race and ethnicity, have changed. In the process, the role of the extended family has weakened. This was a greater loss for Black Americans because it had been such a tradition for the Black family and had played such an important role in the family‟s survival.

So many citizens don’t understand the significance for such an event as Black Family Day. Many citizens celebrate Civil War reenactments, create Civil War Trails for tourism, celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., but find it incomprehensible to celebrate Black Family Day. Black Family Day is simply the revival of the extended family.

J. Langston Hughes said it best in the essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain" when he penned, “…We younger Negro artists now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they aren’t, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too… If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn’t matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, as strong as we know how and we stand on the top of the mountain, free within ourselves.”

Florence A. Armstrong, Ed.D.

See related:

Read the article for yourself: Muhammad: Black Family Day ‘a day for everyone’

Black Family Day