Articles by Adrienne Dunn

African American

Thomas Day (1801- ca. 1861)

1836-1865

Famous for his craftsmanship, Thomas Day, a free African American, became one of North Carolina's most prolific and respected furniture makers in the state. Born to free parents in Dinwiddie, Virginia, Day and John Jr., his brother, were well-educated.

African American

John McLendon (1915 – 1999)

1946-1990

Protégée of basketball inventor James Naismith, John McLendon was born in Hiawatha, Kansas. At the University of Kansas, McLendon changed the pace of the game from a crawl to a fast-paced, high-action event by implementing the fast break method of basketball. Fast break basketball emphasized teamwork, speed and agility. Although he is credited with improving basketball, McLendon was not permitted to play on Kansas’s varsity team because of his race

African American

Secret Basketball Game of 1944

1916-1945

During the Jim Crow era, African American college teams were barred from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). But a brave few found ways around these restrictions. A secret game held in 1944 between a white team from Duke and a black team from NCCU was one of the first integrated sports events in the South.

African American

Joe Louis Dudley (1937- )

1916-1945

Successful entrepreneur, businessman, and founder of Dudley Products, an African American- owned hair care company, Joe Louis Dudley and his wife, Eunice, began their business by mixing shampoo and hair care formula in their kitchen.  His entrepreneurship created a needed product and employed hundreds.  

African American

Palmer Memorial Institute

1866-1915

Nineteen-year old Charlotte Hawkins Brown, an African American educator, started the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina in 1902 to educate elementary and high school students in rural North Carolina.  Named after Brown’s benefactor and friend, Alice Freedman Palmer, the Institute began in an old blacksmith shed. 

Colonial North Carolina

John Penn (1741 – 1788)

1664-1775

Patriot, Continental Congress member, and North Carolina signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Penn and his contributions to the American Revolution and the early days of a fledgling nation have been overlooked.  Penn was one of three North Carolinians who signed the Declaration of Independence, and his efforts on the North Carolina Board of War were instrumental in undermining Cornwallis's military campaigns in the South.

African American

Methodist Home for Children

1866-1915

In 1872, the father of the orphanage movement in North Carolina, John Mills, founded the Masonic Orphanage, the state’s first orphanage.  During the years of the “golden age” of the orphanage movement (1870-1920), sixteen orphanages were founded in North Carolina.  Financed through charitable or religious denominations, some orphanages like Methodist Orphanage served the eastern and western regions of the state.

African American

Central Orphanage of North Carolina

1866-1915

Segregated orphanages in North Carolina necessitated the creation of an orphanage for dependent and neglected African American children. An idea for such an orphanage in Henderson, North Carolina was born, when Rev. Augustus Shepard, father of James Shepard the founder of North Carolina Central University, felt burdened when observing the squalid,living conditions of homeless African American children.

African American

Leonard Medical School

1866-1915

Missionary Henry Martin Tupper founded Shaw University, a private African American college, in 1865.  Within a few years, he realized that a medical school for African American was needed, so in 1880, the university’s trustees established Leonard Medical School. 

African American

Pickford Tuberculosis Sanitarium

1866-1915

A mutual benefit society, the Pickford Tuberculosis Sanitarium opened in 1896 in Southern Pines, North Carolina with a specific mission: to treat African Americans with tuberculosis.  The sanitarium survived solely from the generous donations from blacks and whites.  

African American

North Carolina Industrial Association

1866-1915

To showcase African American agricultural and educational achievement, the North Carolina Industrial Association (NCIA) hosted the African American Industrial fair. Developed in 1879 through the efforts of Charles N. Hunter and twenty-two African American businessmen, the North Carolina Industrial Association fostered better race relations among blacks and whites in Raleigh for a week of festivities.  

African American

Winona Society

1866-1915

Before the introduction of national welfare in the twentieth century, local charities and mutual aid societies provided financial assistance to the less fortunate and also provided entertainment and social outlets for members. These societies many times worked and cosponsored programs with local churches.  Winona Society was a Charlotte example.