The first African American Resilience history program will be hosted at the Central branch of the Forsyth County Public Library next week. 

The presentation will focus specifically on Black history in Winston-Salem, exploring the contributions of residents going all the way back to the 1890s. 

Linda Dark, the community liaison for the Winston-Salem African American Archive, will be speaking at the events.

“A lot of people during segregation thought that African Americans did not have very many contributions to the city or to the state,” she said. “We're telling you, that's not true. There were a lot of contributions, economic, and otherwise. And we just want to make sure that this is not forgotten when we're gone.”

Dark says the presentation will include old photographs, newspapers and other artifacts from their archive — some of which she hopes the community can assist in identifying.

She says they'll talk about the flourishing Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs of the past, as well as different definitions of “resilience.” 

“My great-grandmother was enslaved. For me, resilience means persevering through slavery, and all of the terrible, terrible circumstances, and all the visions that come up from that,” she said. “But I look at my ancestors, not just my blood relatives, but all of the people who came before me, I look at them as my village. And all these people in this village somehow found a way to stay alive.”

Dark says that African American history is American history — and it’s important for people to learn about it.  

“A lot of it is not pretty. A lot of it is not comfortable to talk about. But it is history,” she said. “And so, those in my generation know that we have a lot more time behind us than we have in front of us.”

She says she wants to use that time making sure local Black history is remembered. 

The first presentation will be held on Feb. 22, at the Central Library in downtown Winston-Salem. The next event is scheduled for Feb. 27, at the Malloy Jordan East Winston Heritage Center. 

More information about the events can be found here.

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