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Black History Month event features Thomas Day furniture and skit

 Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) continues its celebration of Black History Month and invites community members to The Courtship of Thomas Day and Aquilla Wilson, a vignette by Fred Motley. There are two presentations on Tuesday, February 28 at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Walker Fine Arts/Student Center Theatre.

The Courtship of Thomas Day and Aquilla Wilson includes a thirty-minute vignette, meet-and-greet with Fred Motley and the touring cast, and a tour of the Thomas Day exhibit. Kelvin Perry is also performing poetry for the event. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free for PHCC students and employees. A $2.00 donation is suggested for guests and community members. Proceeds benefit the Thomas Day Foundation.

Thomas Day (1801- 1861), a master craftsman and free man of color, lived in Milton, North Carolina.  He  is remembered as one of the most successful cabinetmakers in North Carolina - white or black - during a time when most blacks were enslaved and free blacks were restricted in movements and activities.

The vignette portraying Day’s courtship of his wife showcases his success in carving a small patch of freedom from the surrounding slave-bound society where he lived and worked. Audiences learn of his struggle against the laws of the day that stood as a barrier to his marriage.

A Thomas Day exhibit will be displayed in the PHCC Art Gallery featuring an original piece he crafted and other furniture from the early 1800’s courtesy of the Thomas Day House Museum. The exhibit is on display February 24 through March 5. The gallery is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Walker Fine Arts/Student Center.

The event is sponsored by the Alliance for Excellence club, which seeks to increase college participation, leadership skills, and employability of African Americans in the community.