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Cape Lookout National Seashore Celebrates Black History Month

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Date: February 10, 2009
Contact: Wouter Ketel, (252) 728-2250 Ext. 3005

Harkers Island, North Carolina -- Superintendent Russ Wilson invites the public to join Cape LookoutNational Seashore in observance of Black History Month.

During February, the Harkers Island Visitor Center will have an exhibit of photographs and documents highlighting the African American history of North Carolina's Outer Banks with special emphasis on Cape Lookout National Seashore:  The Davis Ridge community and the Pigott family of Portsmouth Village.  The surfmen of the Pea Island Life Saving Station also will be featured.  The Harkers Island Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  For more information call 252-728-2250.

Within the National Park Service:

This year’s Black History Month theme is “The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas.”  This theme provides numerous opportunities for dialogue and promoting a better understanding and appreciation of the struggles, significant accomplishments and contributions of African Americans to this nation and the world.

This year marks several events that are important to African American history.  On January 20, 2009, the world witnessed the inauguration of the first American President of African descent, Barack H. Obama.  February 10 is the centennial of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  February 12 is the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln whose Emancipation Proclamation was a watershed event in our history.

Throughout the year, the National Park Service tells the stories of African Americans at park sites including Boston African American National Historical Site, MA; George Washington Carver National Monument, MO; Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, DC; and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, GA.  Numerous other parks, such as New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, MA, and Natchez National Historical Park, MS, reflect important African American themes in addition to the primary historical reasons for which those parks were recognized.

The Park Service invites you to learn more about African American history in our parks by visiting the National Park Service “Our Shared History – African American History” website (http://www.nps.gov/history/aahistory/).  Additionally, the African American Experience Fund (http://www.aaexperience.org/), an arm of the National Park Foundation, has launched an interactive map (http://www.aaexperience.org/park_site_map.htm) that allows the public to locate parks that celebrate African American history and contributions.

Observances for African American History Month provide reaffirmation of our determination to heighten understanding of the African American experience.  Join the National Park Service and your co-workers across America in observing African American History Month through programs and activities in your area.

Did You Know?

Humpback whale in front of Cape Lookout lighthouse

Diamond City was a shore-based whaling community located where Barden Inlet now separates the islands of Shackleford Banks and South Core Banks. Crews would row whaling dories out from shore to chase the whales as they migrated past the island. Cape Lookout National Seashore