Every Spring, the Imperial Centre’s Art Galleries support Black History Month by displaying historical and artistic content from our permanent collection. We pull various art pieces that feature black artists and subject matter. We remember the Dr. King sculpture that currently sits in a local park. We often play a short documentary about Martin Luther King Jr.’s November 1962 “I Have A Dream” speech that he performed right here in Rocky Mount. I miss the sounds of Dr. King’s voice swelling and culminating with an audience applause that blows out the recorder. I miss the engagement with our community members who remember this event and out-of-towners who are learning about it for the first time.
To honor our legacy of civil rights advocacy in Rocky Mount, we’ve put together this digital exhibit with links and resources to additional content that our visitors can enjoy. Throughout the month of February 2021, we will post on social media to highlight black artists in our collection and we will also introduce you to the man behind the new Thelonious Monk mural in downtown Rocky Mount. Join us as we celebrate Black History this month and every month. – Alicyn Wiedrich