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Black History Month Presentation

The New Castle chapter of the NAACP and New Castle Public Library are teaming up to celebrate Black History Month this year with a virtual presentation by Jean Speight, New Castle NAACP board member. Titled “Traveling Shoes,” Looking at African American Migration. The Promise Land?, the presentation will take place on Zoom at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. The presentation will be recorded for future viewings.

About the Presentation

The year 1910, 7 million of the 8 million African Americans lived below the cotton curtain. The migration saw the relocation of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural south to parts of the north Midwest and west.

African Americans sought to build a new place for themselves, to take control of their own destiny. They put on their “traveling shoes,” pulled up roots and journeyed to places unknown.

Most people have some reference of migration in their past, but none that can match that of the African American. White Americans outside the south would be faced with a new culture and an opportunity to bridge the races in the new world.

Did the migration achieve the aim of those who put on those “traveling shoes”? Were the millions who left better off having done so? Was what they left behind worth what confronted them in the places to which they fled? A slide presentation and lecture will address these questions and many others during the Zoom presentation through New Castle Public Library.

About the Speaker: Jean Speight

Sallye (Jean) Speight retired from the New Castle Area School district after 31 years of teaching. She is a graduate of Tennessee State University (B.S.), Westminster College (M.Edu.), and Slippery Rock University (M.A.). Speight has devoted a lifetime of service to the New Castle community by serving on boards, and presenting workshops and lectures on Black History and Women’s History to school districts, clubs, churches, and service organizations, many beyond the boundaries of New Castle.

These programs are to help in educating the audience by filling in the pages of “true” American history that has far too often left out the contributions of many people, especially people of color. Speight sees this as her mission to bring together people of various ages and backgrounds in safe non-threatening environments where conversations are taking place; people are being educated as to the contributions of many others to life in America.

To Watch the Presentation

This presentation is over. See link to download recording at the top of the page.


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