For the fifth installment in our Intro to WNC Lecture Series, we are joined by two researchers and historians who will present on sites of African American history and resistance here in western North Carolina. Ronnie Pepper will discuss his research into the Kingdom of Happy Land, demonstrating the importance of viewing it from an African American perspective. Lisa R. Withers will present a portion of her dissertation research into the Negro Motorist Green Book sites as part of a network of resistance from discrimination.
The two guests will answer questions at the end in a Q&A. Be sure to join us Thursday, June 24 at 6:30pm!
About the Speakers: Ronnie Pepper grew up in Hendersonville and served in the U.S. army before becoming a Head Start teacher. In addition to researching and telling the story of the Happy Land Kingdom, Ronnie serves his community on numerous boards. He also serves as the Chair of the Black History Research Committee of Henderson County. He has travelled abroad representing Henderson County groups, and has won several awards for his work including the Spirit of Diversity Award by the Latino Advocacy Coalition of Henderson County and the Scholastic Early Childhood Professional Award. Ronnie is currently a librarian at the Hendersonville County Public Library, and a storyteller in the region.
Lisa R. Withers is a doctoral candidate at North Carolina State University, where she is currently working on a dissertation entitled “The Negro Motorist Green Book and African American Community History.” Her research examines the people associated with North Carolina’s Green Book listings who helped to facilitate African American travel through the state. Lisa earned a BA in African & Afro-American Studies with a History Minor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a MA in History with a Museum Studies Concentration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her professional experiences include working in university archives, historic house museums, historic sites, local history museums, and teaching undergraduate history survey courses.
Tickets: Free for WNCHA members/ $5 for General Admission. We also have no-cost, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise. This event is brought to you by the Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA) and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNCA (OLLI). You must register for this virtual event. A Zoom link will be emailed to you. For questions, contact Trevor Freeman at email@example.com