Princeville exhibit debuts at ECU's Joyner Library

Published: Jan. 21, 2020 at 5:17 PM EST
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ECU students and the general public have the opportunity to learn more about one Eastern Carolina town’s history.

The new exhibit of the historic town of Princeville debuted Tuesday in the Joyner Library on the campus of ECU.

The town was the first chartered Black town in the U.S. and called Freedom Hill before it was re-named after one of its residents.

“They were given this base and built it and named it Freedom Hill. Right, for symbolic reasons, for people who had been enslaved who came together to have some kind of self-determination," said Susan Pearce, an Associate Professor in ECU's Department of History.

Pearce was apart of creating the exhibit and said it's meant to give every student a space to learn about the history surrounding them. The exhibit even has Braille labels to accommodate students with disabilities.

Pearce said the town’s founding to its struggle with frequent flooding is still important. "The town and its history are still relevant today. Some of the things that Princeville faced over the years - I think we can take lessons from," she said.

The exhibit is sponsored by ECU's Sociology and History departments and the Freedom Organization of Princeville. It will be available to view for one month, from January 21st to February 21st.

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