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Greensboro & Guilford Courthouse Battlefield

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giradman

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Thanks for some very interesting early history of the civil rights movement.

Glad that you liked the post - thanks for your continued interests in my travelogues - thought that we would have had some North Carolina members 'chime in' w/ some questions or further comments - oh well - :)

There are a few more topics to mention, so will put together another post soon - Dave
 
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Education Institutions in Greensboro

Before proceeding w/ the title topic, let me mention that the city has an excellent Science Center w/ a museum, aquarium, and zoo - I've not been there in years, but certainly a recommended attraction, especially if kids are in need of entertainment!

For the size of Greensboro, the town has many varied higher centers of learning, both undergraduate and graduate programs are available - quoted before just a brief description of the main institutions (all Wiki sources) - the campuses are nice walks - one major highlight is the Weatherspoon Art Museum on the UNCG campus (a couple pics below) - other images self-explanatory.

For the moment, this will be my last post to this thread but I'll be glad to respond to questions and add more information, if needed. Of course, there are two other interesting towns in the Triad Area of North Carolina, i.e. High Point and Winston-Salem (where we live), so might start a new thread; and I've not even talked about Charlotte, the largest city in the state. Dave :)

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, also known as UNC Greensboro, is a public liberal arts and research university in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States and is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is a public, coeducational, historically black, research university located in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States.

Greensboro College is a four-year, independent, coeducational liberal-arts college, also offering four master's degrees, located in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States, and affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Guilford College, founded in 1837 by members of the Religious Society of Friends, is a small Liberal arts college in Greensboro, North Carolina. Guilford has both traditional students and students who attend its Center for Continuing Education.

Bennett College is a private four-year historically black liberal arts college for women. Located in Greensboro, NC, it was founded in 1873 as a normal school educating newly emancipated slaves.

Elon University School of Law is an American law school located in Greensboro, North Carolina, occupying the former downtown public library building. The school spent $10 million renovating the 84,000 sq ft. facility.
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Weatherspoon Art Museum - Some New Exhibits!

Susan & I are doing a Greensboro overnight - staying at the O. Henry Hotel again (discussed in a previous post) and will soon be dining at the Green Valley Grill - if a 'whole fish' is available, as usual, then likely my choice!

But our main purpose for the visit this time was to see a number of exhibits at the Weatherspoon Art Museum on the UNCG campus. The main exhibit was from the William Louis-Dreyfus Collection of self-taught artists - Louis-Dreyfus is a French-born American businessman and billionaire who's eponymous Foundation's "mission ...is to educate the public about the importance of art and to increase public awareness of self-taught and emerging artists." The first quote below is a description of the show along w/ just several of the MANY art works that were present (all quotes from the first link above).
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The enigmatic—and often humorous and dramatic—works in this exhibition survey the production of five gifted artists: James Castle, Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Bill Traylor, and Willie Young. Whether called “outsider,” “visionary,” or more accurately, “self-taught” art, the genre remains one of the most intriguing in modern and contemporary art. Each artist has examined an idiosyncratic reality to create works full of imaginative and visual power, works that stand beside the canon of the mainstream art world.

Three of the artists of African-American heritage grew up in the Deep South: Thornton Dial on a tenant farm in Alabama, Nellie Mae Rowe on a farm in rural Georgia, and Bill Traylor, who only began to draw and paint at age 84, born a slave in Alabama. Willie Young, also African-American, had a bit of training in a scholarship art class at the Dallas Museum of Art, but found his own voice later while shining shoes for a living. James Castle was born deaf and spent his entire life at his rural family home in Idaho.

William Louis-Dreyfus’s collection of self-taught art now numbers more than 500 works (from his overall collection of over 3,500 objects). When asked what caused him to collect self-taught art, he explains that, “I think the answer is not anything different from what propelled me to collect art itself, namely a conviction that the work achieves an inescapable and meaningful artistic presence: the quality that differentiates art from illustration.”
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The second exhibit was curated by Ellsworth Kelly (who passed away this year) and included numerous drawings (some partial sketches; others more complete) of the French artist, Henri Matisse - second quote below, along w/ a couple of pics.

With forty-five drawings from across fifty years of Henri Matisse’s career, Matisse Drawings provides new insight into the French master’s graphic work. Ranging in date from 1900 through 1950, the drawings reveal both Matisse’s process and the range of his creativity as a draughtsman. Many of the drawings—from quick sketches to highly detailed images—have rarely or never-before been exhibited. Curated by contemporary artist Ellsworth Kelly (who selected not only the drawings but also the frame choice and placement of the work), Matisse Drawings is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue that features an interview with Kelly, Kelly’s original installation plan, and a special plates section reproducing all of the works in the exhibition.

The exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in collaboration with The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. The exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust and The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. Additional support provided by the JFM Foundation, and Mrs. Donald M. Cox.

Matisse Drawings and the adjacent exhibition, Plant Lithographs by Ellsworth Kelly, 1964-1966, are sponsored at the Weatherspoon by a generous gift from Jane R. Kearns.
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In addition in another room was a small collection of lithographs and small bronze sculptures (two shown below) from the museum's permanent collection of Matisse works, donated by the famous Cone sisters - description in the third quote. For those in the area w/ an interest in art - these two exhibits will not be at the museum much longer - admission is free (donations accepted), as is parking. Dave :)

Examples of lithographs and bronze sculptures by Matisse, part of the Claribel and Etta Cone bequest to the Weatherspoon Art Museum, will round out this celebration of one of the twentieth century’s best known and admired artists. Matisse felt his artworks should be quick, gestural exercises that captured the form and emotion that the subject evoked in him. He once said, “I have always tried to hide my efforts and wished my works to have the light joyousness of springtime, which never lets anyone suspect the labors it has cost me....” Working in different media often helped him work out compositional and stylistic problems as well as formulate new ideas. This focused exhibition will explore one of Matisse’s enduring themes, the female body.
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Greensboro - Proximity Hotel - Two-night Getaway - February 2019

Just a short post - but developing a little 'cabin fever' in the house, so drove to Greensboro and first stopped at the Apple Store for Susan to look at the new iPhones (she has the iPhone 6) - well much to my surprise, she liked the new X line (wanted to convinced her to get a XR), but turned me down for a new one - was still happy w/ her old one!

Then off to the Proximity Hotel (discussed in a previous post) - first night we had dinner at the Green Valley Grill (also back on the first page) - our afternoon activities included a return to the International Civil Rights Museum, original site of a sit-in at the Woolworth's lunch counter - also a subject earlier in this thread - the guided tour has improved and is certainly worth a visit if in the area - highly recommended!

A NEW experience for us was a visit to the Greensboro Science Center - quotes below from the link. Obviously, a great place for kids but we really enjoyed - did mainly the indoor activities below (skipped the theater - too many school kids around - ;)) - the aquarium was an unexpected delight and is a must see - enjoyed the 'dinosaur exhibit' - small but quite educational. The outdoor zoo area was devoid of many animals (winter I assume), so we'll have to return.

Tonight dinner at the Proximity Hotel restaurant - then home tomorrow - a really nice getaway! Dave :)

P.S. pics below of the Science Center, only a few are mine - so thanks to the web.

The Greensboro Science Center is an aquarium, museum and zoo -- all in one location, for one price! Located in beautiful Greensboro, North Carolina, it's the perfect way to spend a day with your family and friends. Our indoor aquarium features penguins, lovable otters, colorful fish, sharks, jellyfish, and much more. A stingray touch tank offers you the opportunity to touch rays, skates, and even small sharks! Check our daily schedule and stick around for our daily dive, fish feeding, or penguin feeding.

The museum features exhibits about dinosaurs, health and the human body, and weather. SciPlay Bay, an interactive children’s play space is the perfect place for youngest explorers to exercise their imaginations. Stop by the lower level of the museum to look at (and maybe even meet) some reptiles, amphibians and insects. The museum offers a number of shows and interactive experiences, so be sure to catch an OmniSphere Theater show, meet Tai the red panda (our resident SciPlay Bay ocean explorer), or check out an Adventure Theater show featuring Indiana Bones or our musical meerkat friends!

Outside in the zoo, you’ll have the chance to see crocodiles sunning themselves, gibbons swinging across their exhibit, and meerkats standing watch. Hands-on fun is available in our farmyard, where you can pet goats and sheep, play in our farmhouse, and watch NC crops, such as cotton, grow from seed to harvest. Overhead, watch SKYWILD participants zip, slide, climb, and fly through the trees. If you’re feeling brave, give our treetop adventure park a try for yourself!
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The International Civil Rights Center & Museum deserves another post from my brief introduction previously - the Center opened officially in 2010, exactly 50 years after the first 'sit-ins' at the Woolworth lunch counter (the original is still in the museum - see pics); below several quotes presenting more details, including one about the financial difficulties being faced.

The docent-led tour takes about 90 minutes and includes approximately 16 exhibit galleries - each illustrates various aspects of the Civil Rights movement, mainly in the latter thirds of the 20th century to the present. The original L-shaped lunch counter remains in place and a number of videos recreate the events. The 'Hall of Shame' is shockingly sad to behold and ends w/ the tragic story of a 14 year-old boy named Emmett Till. The 'Colored Entrance' exhibit that ends the tour leads into a Railroad Station, where signs of segregation are displayed, such as a two-sided coke machine (5 cents for whites & 10 cents for 'colored') and the separate drinking fountains (plus much more)

The pics below are all from the web - on the tour, no photography or video recording are allowed. For those in the area or who are planning to visit the Triad, this Center & Museum are a 'Star Attraction' - plan to tour and buy a few items at the gift shop, plus leave a further donation - funding, as described below, is a major concern. Dave :)

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM) is located in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States. Its building formerly housed the Woolworth's, the site of a non-violent protest in the civil rights movement. Four students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) started the Greensboro sit-ins at a "whites only" lunch counter on February 1, 1960. The four students were Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond. The next day there were twenty students. The aim of the museum's founders is to ensure that history remembers the actions of the A&T Four, those who joined them in the daily Woolworth's sit-ins, and others around the country who took part in sit-ins and in the civil rights movement. The Museum is currently supported by earned admissions and Museum Store revenues. The project also receives donations from private donors as a means of continuing its operations. The museum officially opened fifty years to the day after the sit-in movements in Greensboro. (Source)

Architect Charles Hartmann designed the building in an art deco style. Completed in 1929, the building in the 100 South block of Elm Street was then known as the Whelan Building because Whelan Drug Co. rented most of the space. Woolworth moved into the site in 1939. The International Civil Rights Center and Museum was designed by Freelon Group of Durham, North Carolina, and exhibits were designed by Eisterhold Associates of Kansas City, Missouri. It has 30,000 square feet of exhibit space occupying the ground floor and basement, and office space on the top floor. Docent-led and self-guided tours are available for a fee. Tours begin in the lower level where visitors are introduced to the segregated society of the 1960s through video presentations and continues with a graphic "Hall of Shame" display of the violence against civil rights protesters of all colors throughout the United States. Visitors are introduced to the four students through a reenactment of the planning session set against the original furniture from their dorm room at A&T College in 1960. Visitors are led into the main floor of the museum where the massive lunch counter, in the original 1960 L-shaped configuration, occupies nearly the whole width and half the length of the building. Original signage from 1960 and dumbwaiters that delivered food from the upstairs kitchen are included, as is a reenactment of the sit-in on life-sized video screens. Visitors are then led through a reproduction of the "Colored Entrance" at the Greensboro Rail Depot where the roles of the church, schools, politics, and courts in the civil rights movement are explored. Artifacts include a pen used to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the uniform of a Tuskegee Airman native to Greensboro, and a complete Ku Klux Klan robe and hood. (Source)

The museum project suffered financial difficulties for a number of years, despite millions of dollars in donations. These included more than $1 million from the State of North Carolina, a contribution from the Bryan Foundation, more than $200,000 each from the City of Greensboro and Guilford County, and $148,152 from the U.S. Department of Interior through the National Park Service Agency's Save America's Treasures program in 2005. In fall 2007, Sit-in Movement, Inc. requested an additional $1.5 million from the City of Greensboro; the request was rejected. Greensboro residents twice voted down bond referenda to provide money for the project. In 2013, the city agreed to a $1.5 million loan, with the condition that an amount equal to money raised "outside the normal course of business" by the museum from September 2013 to July 2015 would be forgiven. A June 24, 2016 memo from City Manager Jim Westmoreland and Mayor Nancy Vaughn said the museum raised $612,510 and owed $933,155, with the first $145,000 payment due June 30, and the remainder by February 2018. The museum claimed it owed $281,805. On August 1, the city council voted not to forgive $800,000 of the debt; using the museum building as collateral was an option. Two weeks later, the city council gave the museum until February 2018 to raise more money, with an amount equal to money raised to be subtracted from the debt. (Source)
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The International Civil Rights Center & Museum deserves another post from my brief introduction previously - the Center opened officially in 2010, exactly 50 years after the first 'sit-ins' at the Woolworth lunch counter (the original is still in the museum - see pics); below several quotes presenting more details, including one about the financial difficulties being faced.

The docent-led tour takes about 90 minutes and includes approximately 16 exhibit galleries - each illustrates various aspects of the Civil Rights movement, mainly in the latter thirds of the 20th century to the present. The original L-shaped lunch counter remains in place and a number of videos recreate the events. The 'Hall of Shame' is shockingly sad to behold and ends w/ the tragic story of a 14 year-old boy named Emmett Till. The 'Colored Entrance' exhibit that ends the tour leads into a Railroad Station, where signs of segregation are displayed, such as a two-sided coke machine (5 cents for whites & 10 cents for 'colored') and the separate drinking fountains (plus much more)

The pics below are all from the web - on the tour, no photography or video recording are allowed. For those in the area or who are planning to visit the Triad, this Center & Museum are a 'Star Attraction' - plan to tour and buy a few items at the gift shop, plus leave a further donation - funding, as described below, is a major concern. Dave :)






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A very good post on an important piece of American history.
 
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A very good post on an important piece of American history.

Thanks Scifan.. - the tour of the museum seemed to be longer and more extensive than on our previous visit soon after the place opened (probably 6+ years ago) - certainly worth a stop for those visiting or living in the Triad area.

Also for those reading this thread and wanting to learn more about the so-called Jim Crow Laws, then checkout this History Website Discussion and also the Wiki Article. Dave :)
 
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Our recent tour of the Civil Rights Center & Museum is still in my mind - just a couple of thoughts: 1) Currently reading the book The War Before the War (2018) by Andrew Delbanco on my iPad - a detailed and at times gruesome story of slavery in antebellum America - highly recommended; and 2) Now watching the Tuskegee Airmen w/ Lawrence Fishburne - a WWII exhibit in the museum discussed this black air squadron, known as the 'Red Tails' - the leader was Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. - see beginning of his Wiki bio below - Dave :)

Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. (December 18, 1912 – July 4, 2002) was an American United States Air Force general and commander of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen. He was the first African-American general officer in the United States Air Force. On December 9, 1998, he was advanced to four-star general by President Bill Clinton. During World War II, Davis was commander of the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group, which escorted bombers on air combat missions over Europe. Davis flew sixty missions in P-39, Curtiss P-40, P-47 and P-51 Mustang fighters. Davis followed in his father's footsteps in breaking racial barriers, as Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was the first African-American general in the United States Army.

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Virginia Governor, KKK, Blackface, and Historic College Yearbooks!

Apropos to the recent posts in this thread, racism in the USA is still an issue (no surprise!) - this morning, I was reading USA Today (we have home delivery) and the feature article is shown below (LINK) - of course, this started by the allegations of the VA governor, Ralph Northam's presumed portrayal of a KKK or black-faced character in his medical school yearbook - apparently not an uncommon portrayal in many, many yearbooks in previous decades! Hard to believe - Dave :)

P.S. I reviewed my 1971 U of Michigan Medical School Yearbook and also Susan's 1967 Pembroke (i.e. Brown University) Yearbook and could not find any 'racist pics' - happy!
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Henry Louis Gates Jr. - African-American Experience - Racism Still Here!

Susan & I have been watching the award-winning 2013 PBS production of The Aftrican Americans - Many Rivers to Cross (6 1-hour episodes) that explores five centuries of the American black experience (see description at bottom from the PBS website). Gates is a distinguished Harvard University Professor (see first quote, beginning of his Wiki bio) - however, in 2009, he was arrested at his own home in Cambridge, MA on an 'attempted break-in' - when will this racial profiling end? Well, then President Obama invited Gates & the police officer to the White House for a 'beer summit' which apparently was successful - :) (see last pic below - LINK to run the video). Dave


Henry Louis "Skip" Gates Jr. (born September 16, 1950) is an American literary critic, teacher, historian, filmmaker and public intellectual who currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He discovered what are considered the first books by African-American writers, both women, and has published extensively on appreciating African-American literature as part of the Western canon. In addition to producing and hosting previous series on the history and genealogy of prominent American figures, since 2012 Gates has been host for four seasons of the series Finding Your Roots on PBS. It combines the work of expert researchers in genealogy, history, and genetics historic research to tell guests about their ancestors' lives and histories. (Source)

On July 16, 2009, Gates returned home from a trip to China to find the door to his house jammed. His driver attempted to help him gain entrance. A passerby called police reporting a possible break-in after reporting to 911 "an individual" forcing the front door open. A Cambridge police officer was dispatched. The confrontation resulted in Gates being arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Prosecutors later dropped the charges. The incident spurred a politically charged exchange of views about race relations and law enforcement throughout the United States. The arrest attracted national attention after U.S. President Barack Obama declared that the Cambridge police "acted stupidly" in arresting the 59-year-old Gates. Obama eventually extended an invitation to both Gates and the officer involved to share a beer with him at the White House. (Source)
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Proximity Hotel, Dinners, and Visits to the Science Center and Guilford Courthouse NMP - August 2021!

With this COVID flare-up, we have cancelled trips to see our son this month a trip to either the NC or VA mountains, but we needed a short get-a-away - SO, decided two nights at the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro w/ dinners there and at the O.Henry Hotel - on our free day, we visited the the Greensboro Science Center and Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Theses have been major topics of previous posts in this thread, including the hotels and their amenities - thus, I'll just make a few comments and post some new pics.

Will just be a few posts - this one concentrating on the Science Center w/ most new images except the last three are from the web w/ brief descriptions of some of the rarer animals in the Zoo area - since we've been here before, decided to just visit the aquarium (I cannot resist penguin exhibits!) and the outside zoo area (see map below) which we missed in out last trip before. The next post will be short on the National Military Park, again plenty of discussion previously and the link given provides much as as would a good Wiki article. Dave :)
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Guilford Court House National Military Park

The park has a small visitor's center offering films, excellent selection of books, and other miscellaneous items, including t-shirts. The best film can be viewed on line HERE (we watched it the night before coming to Greensboro). A guided tour with a park ranger is available along with self-guided walking or auto tours (the red line on the map below shows the tour) - the day was hot (+90ºF) and Susan was tired/hot from her zoo walk, so we did the car tour w/ about a half dozen stops where I walked to monuments and took some pics (below). Not much to add about Nathanael Greene not covered in previous posts and links but a few words below about Joseph Winston.

Joseph Winston (1746-1815) was from Surry County which was divided and the new county of Forsyth came into existence in 1849 (named after Colonel Benjamin Forsyth, killed in the War of 1812); the county seat of Forsyth was named Winston in Joseph's honor. As a major he fought at Guilford Courthouse, among other Revolutionary battles described in the link. In 1913, the adjacent towns of Salem and Winston were merged into Winston-Salem, where we live. In 1906, his remains were moved from the family plot and re-buried at the battlefield; the statue had already been erected in 1894. Dave :)
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Here’s a short article on archaeological excavations at the park. At the time the article was published the site of the courthouse building hadn’t yet been discovered.
 
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Here’s a short article on archaeological excavations at the park. At the time the article was published the site of the courthouse building hadn’t yet been discovered.

Thanks for the link - archaeological investigation about the site of the old courthouse continues - HERE is another story (not sure of the date) with a video using radar to image beneath the ground - on our car tour yesterday, stop 5 is the apparent previous location of the courthouse; of course, there was a 'village' which has disappeared. In 1808, a new courthouse was located more centrally in Guilford County and the county seat became what is now Greensboro, named in honor of Nathanael Greene (Source).

However, I was curious about the name 'Guilford' (likely had just forgotten) - below is a quote from a longer Wiki article stating the name was after the Earl of Guilford, like so many places along the eastern seaboard; the original 'Lord Proprietors' of many of these colonies have their names attached to numerous counties and cities. Dave :)
As population increased, the North Carolina colonial legislature organized the county in 1771, from parts of Rowan and Orange counties. It was named for Francis North, Earl of Guilford, father of Frederick North, Lord North, British Prime Minister from 1770 to 1782 (Source).
 

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