June 19 dedication set for signs that highlight African American Heritage Trail in New Bern

Via New Bern Historical Society

Over the next several weeks citizens and visitors to New Bern may notice the installation of 16 sign panels that explain and interpret significant historic events, people and places that pertain to the African American heritage within the greater Craven Terrace/Dryborough neighborhood.

The development of these signs has been guided by a committee chaired by local historian Bernard George and sponsored by the Historic Dryborough Neighborhood Association, the New Bern Historical Society, the City of New Bern, and the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office.

Professor John Hope Franklin, a greatly admired scholar of African American history at Duke University through the second half of the 20th century, once remarked that New Bern and Craven and Carteret Counties have, perhaps, the most interesting African American stories in the nation.

Yet these stories were systematically suppressed by the revisionist historians of the Jim Crow and segregation eras. In recent years, renewed interest has resulted in research, lectures, books, and reenactments that have brought these stories back to life.

These signs will continue that interest.

Funds for this project resulted from mitigation when a lease was granted to Craven Terrace LP by the Housing Authority of the City of New Bern for the rehabilitation of the Craven Terrace housing complex, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A five-year process has resulted in the creation of the 16 signs, seen as a solid start in the creation of additional signs telling remarkable stories. The committee is committed to continuing this process.