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The Bias Speaker Series: Freedman, Surfmen, Heroes
February 23 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Join us for a presentation on the unique history of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Lifesavers. Etheridge, a slave taught to read and write, was the nation’s first African American keeper, while Station Pea Island was the only black station in the history of the lifesaving service.
This presentation teaches the history of Richard Etheridge and station Pea Island. Etheridge, a slave who grew up on Roanoke Island was the nation’s first African American Keeper of a U.S. Life-Saving Station, and station Pea Island, the only one in the nation’s history with an all-black crew for most of it’s existence. A four-member team of the Pea Island Preservation Society teaches this history in an exciting and fun-filled way. Using vivid imagery, re-enactment and interpretation the presenters teach the story of Etheridge’s life and the events that led to his freedom. They will also present the role that surfmen played in helping to save lives, including the station’s most famous rescue of the nine-member crew of the schooner E.S. Newman during hurricane conditions along the North Carolina coast on October 11, 1896.
The live program received rave reviews from a packed audience at the dedication ceremony of the new Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge last year and has been presented to enthusiastic audiences throughout Dare County including the Aquarium at Roanoke Island and Dare County elementary schools on numerous occasions. The program also teaches important lessons about the importance of providing equal opportunity to all and how black and white surfmen in the Outer Banks worked together at an unexpected time in the nation’s history to save lives.
The presentation will be held in the Paul F. Keller Meeting Hall on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. with a light reception to follow.