All readers interested in American history should take the coming Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend as an opportunity to head to the Wilmington area for a fantastic panel discussion titled “Black Men Bearing Freedom: U.S. Colored Troops and Their Impact in North Carolina” on January 15th at 6 p.m. Presented by the Fort Fisher State Historic Site and held in the Azalea Coast Room of the Fisher Student Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the panel will feature Dr. Richard Reid, author of Freedom for Themselves: North Carolina’s Black Soldiers in the Civil War Era, published by UNC Press in 2008.
Dr. Reid, a professor at the University 0f Geulph in Ontario, Canada, will be accompanied by Dr. John Haley and Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr. of UNC-Wilmington, as well as Dr. Mark Elliott of UNC-Greensboro. Moderating the discussion will be another scholar with ties to UNC Press–Dr. Heather Williams of UNC-Chapel Hill, who penned Self-Taught: African-American Education in Slavery and Freedom.
“All of the invited scholars bring a unique perspective to the table and we are particularly excited to share Dr. Richard Reid’s work with our audience,” Fort Fisher Historic Site Historical Interpreter Amy Thorton stated.
Along with the panel discussion, other events are planned for the weekend, including a 300-soldier reenacted battle scenario at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach. A Confederate stronghold until its fall on January 15, 1865, Fort Fisher was the largest earthen fortification in the Confederacy, and the last line of defense for the port of Wilmington.
Take some time and head to the beach for a couple days–few times will you have the chance to see an award-winning scholar like Dr. Richard Reid paired with a site as impressive and important as Fort Fisher.
For more information on “Black Men Bearing Freedom” or the upcoming events at Fort Fisher, please call (910) 458-5538 or visit www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher/.