Voices of New Bern, a Phi Theta Kappa Film

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A lot has been written about New Bern, North Carolina‘s colonial, revolutionary and Civil War eras.  In this documentary, the Craven Community College Phi Theta Kappa chapter has captured the growth of the city after the Civil War and until the destruction of the Great Fire of New Bern in 1922.  Students have interviewed local and national historians for this piece including: Nelson McDaniel, Board President of the New Bern Historical Society;  Mary Peterkin, Great Fire Historian;  David Cecelski, PhD, Author of The Waterman’s Song: Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina and The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway’s Civil War; and Glenda Gilmore, PhD, Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History, Yale University, Author Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina 1896-1920.

Captured on film are voices from the end of New Bern’s 19th and the turn of the 20th Centuries.  The documentary chronicles the trials and tribulations of this Swiss founded community as it became a safe haven for African-Americans after the Civil War.  The film also examines the unique roles that New Bern women played during this era. These included a spy, a pilot/photographer, and a columnist who fought through both racial and gender barriers.  The rise of a Jewish business man in a small Southern town is also chronicled, along with the invention of Pepsi in a downtown pharmacy.  Residents, survivors, and historians also give their perspectives of how the 1922 Great Fire affected the city’s African-American population.

 The following is the trailer for Voices of New Bern, to be premiered in Orringer Auditorium of Craven Community College this summer: http://youtu.be/PcHmJlPi6FA

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