African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Our towns

Princeville before and after the flood, and Nuestro Barrio wraps its first season


Those attending next week's Full Frame Festival will have an opportunity to see the first documentaries to emerge in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. However, there is a locally produced documentary that, although not in Full Frame, is shedding important light on a disastrous hurricane much closer to home. This film is called This Side of the River, and it concerns the historically black town of Princeville, N.C. Princeville, you may recall, entered the news in 1999 in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd. While the news was dominated by images of spilled hog waste and dead livestock, we also learned that the Edgecombe County town was essentially wiped off the map. Eventually the town's residents would resist the buyout inducements of FEMA, opting instead to rebuild on their low-lying land, which had suffered severe floods previously in 1919 and 1958. Located across the Tar River from Tarboro, Princeville was first settled by newly freed slaves who had flocked to the Union Army camp located in Tarboro. Initially, the settlement was called Freedom Hill, which was somewhat of a misnomer given the town's later recurrent misfortunes. In 1885, Princeville became the first town in America to be incorporated by African Americans. This film from Ryan Rowe and Drew Grimes, produced under the aegis of NCSU's North Carolina Life and Language Project, is heartfelt, exhaustively researched and ably executed. It began circulating on Feb. 28, when it premiered before a capacity crowd at Durham's Hayti Heritage Center. Several dozen Princeville residents attended the screening, which was preceded by a performance by Eastern N.C. bluesman George Higgs and followed by a panel discussion. Full Story:


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