Lost in Transition
The Lost in Transition performance is a prelude to an exhibition of portraits featuring educators who instructed generations of Black students in Wilmington, NC. UNC Wilmington theater students excerpts of oral histories from longtime Wilmington educators, diving into their experiences to pull forward strands relevant to Black students today.
Following the performance, there will be a discussion with Wilmington native Cynthia J. Brown, who was educated in segregated and desegregated schools, about her experience and the principles that have defined her life. Mrs. Brown has deep roots in Wilmington that trace back to Alfred Augustus Howe, a local builder in the 19th century and a member of the Wilmington Board of Aldermen in 1869. He was the father of educator Mary Washington Howe, who was the principal of Williston Grammar School for more than 20 years in the late 1800s.
This performance is in partnership with Michael S. Williams, curator and founder of the Black On Black Project, and highlights how Black educators cared for and taught their students prior to integration.
Oral history excerpts were sourced from the Randall Library Oral History Collection at UNCW and the Behind the Veil Oral History Project from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
This project is funded by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.
Image: Alexandria P. Clay, B. Constance O’Dell in 1953 (detail), charcoal on paper, 30 × 24 in.