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“African American Antebellum Migrations: From Bertie County North Carolina to the Southwest”

February 16, 2013 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

20th Annual African American Celebration 


Historic Hope Foundation

 African American Committee

 Bertie County North Carolina


Free African American Migration to Missouri: A Case Study I


Speller Plantation: A Case Study II

Benjamin F. Speller, Vice President, Historic Hope Foundation

“Mississippi and Missouri”

William Speller, Associate Professor Emeritus of African World History

 Northeastern Illinois State University, Chicago

Professor William Speller
Professor William Speller

William Speller was born February 1, 1930 and raised on a farm in Sikeston, Missouri and later went on to be a ‘gandy dancer’ (train track layer) after high school. One of the early influential accomplishments of his father Oliver ‘Bud’ Speller is the one room school house Oliver Speller built using an old barn. This accomplishment influenced William’s eventual pursuit of higher learning as a career.  He attended and graduated from Lincoln High School, Charleston, Illinois. 1944-1948. He was a U.S. Army Paratrooper from 1951-1953. He attended Western Michigan University from 1955- 1960 and received the BS degree in Sociology/Social Work.  He then matriculated at the University of Chicago from 1961 -1963 and was awarded the Master of Arts degree in Social Service Administration. Speller was a Leader and a Professor at Northeastern Illinois University for 43 years.  Some of Speller’s accomplishments
include being a coordinator for educational assistance, helping to advise students in all areas of school life, Director of ‘Project Success’ at Northeastern Illinois University, formation of the national organization ‘African American Black Studies’.


Special Features


Report:   “Bertie County NAACP in 2012”,   Charles L. Sutton, President


Music: Selected Solos, Agnes Green


Poem:  “Is Racism Still Alive in America?” Casey E. Grant



Plantation at the Crossroads: a permanent exhibit focusing on areas such as

Tuscarora civilization, plantation agriculture, and African American life


Tour:  New Interpretation of Hope Plantation Manor House

More Information:    Phone:  (252) 794-3140 or Email:  info@hopeplantation.org


There is no cost to attend, but donations are appreciated.



February 16, 2013
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Roanoke-Chowan Heritage Center
132 Hope House Road
Windsor, NC 27983 United States
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