Princeville exhibit in library honors early educators

Coinciding with national Teacher Appreciation Week, celebrated May 8-12, the “Angels at the Blackboard” exhibition in the Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery highlights many of the principals and teachers who served as instrumental early educators for Princeville School in Princeville, North Carolina.

The Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery is located on the second floor of Joyner Library, East Carolina University’s main campus library.

This panel-style exhibit spans academic years 1883 through 1964. The primary school was established in 1883 and opened in 1888 to 240 students, according to exhibit curator Saundra Stanley.

Princeville is the oldest incorporated African American town in the United States. It was originally named Freedom Hill and was renamed in 1885 after Turner Prince, who built many of the town’s structures.

“These people came at a time when Princeville needed them,” Stanley said of Princeville School’s early educators. “They came in bearing the gift of literacy that changed the world for many people. Just to think that a few generations down of people, I’m a descendant who had educational opportunities that came about because of these people. It was so surreal. Now, in the town of Princeville, we have people with doctoral degrees, we have health care providers, doctors, nurses, clinicians, attorneys, faith leaders, military service, postal workers, educators, social workers, government workers. This is all from little Princeville and it had so much to do with the people you see (in the exhibit).”

At a reception last month, Stanley provided insight into her 18 months of research and use of various resources to learn more about the school’s principals and teachers.

Stanley was born in Tarboro and attended Princeville School, beginning in 1957, before graduating from W.A. Pattillo High School in Edgecombe County. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Fayetteville State University, a Master of Public Health Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Master of Business Administration from Fayetteville State University. She lives in Fayetteville.

The exhibit will remain in the gallery through July 15.


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