Jones featured speaker at lecture series hosted by Tryon Palace

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A new photography exhibition and African American Lecture Series hosted by Tryon Palace in New Bern will explore the Underground Railroad. Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad is a new thought-provoking exhibit featuring 48 dramatic color photographs, ephemera, and narratives that tell the story of the Underground Railroad. Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales spent over a decade researching “fugitive” enslaved people and the ways they escaped to freedom before capturing the photographs exhibited in the collection. Her photos document the sites, cities, and places freedom-seekers passed through from Louisiana to the Canadian border.

As part of the exhibit, Leesa Jones, founder of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum, will be the featured speaker of the African American Lecture series and will talk about the history of the Underground Railroad in eastern North Carolina. Jones, will demonstrate through documents, books, artifacts, music, and enslaved coded messages, the brilliance and creativity of those who courageously sought their freedom. “We want to help people understand how valuable freedom was to enslaved people and how they were willing to risk their lives to get that freedom,” said Jones. “It will then help us to understand what Juneteenth is all about, and why it was necessary in the first place. It is good to be able to participate in these kinds of events so we can learn from each other.”

A special showing of the photography exhibition and Jones presentation will be held on Thursday, June 20, at the North Carolina History Center located at Tryon Palace. Doors will open at 6 pm for viewing of the photography exhibit to be followed by Jone’s presentation at 7 pm. Both events are free and open to the public. Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad runs through Aug. 11, 2024.