Black history program Feb. 20 in Smithfield

February 14, 2014 

The “Pocahontas” cast includes, from left, Joia Freeman, the Rev. Sterling E. Freeman, Michelle Freeman and Joyce Grandy.


The Johnston County Heritage Center’s Black History Committee will host a program Thursday, Feb. 20, comparing Native American and African-American cultures.

The program will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. in the second-floor meeting room of the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield, 305 E. Market St. Admission is free.

“Pocahontas” is the title of the program written by Carolyn Ennis, a member of the Johnston County Heritage Commission, which is the Heritage Center’s advisory board. “The play reveals the facts and fiction of Native Americans with a comparison of African-American traditions and historical experiences,” Ennis said.

Before the performance, the Heritage Center will honor about two-dozen African Americans who have won election to public offices in Johnston County since the onset of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Almost half of those to be honored are currently serving on municipal government councils throughout Johnston County.

Those African-American “Political Pioneers” will also be featured in an exhibit going up in the Heritage Center’s main hall in early February. That exhibit will remain in place beyond Black History Month.

Members of the Heritage Center’s Black History Committee are Pearl Blackmon, Dr. John Booker, Carolyn Ennis, Tanya Jones-Boland, Cynthia Toudle and Q.K. Wall.

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