Children of the Promised Land
Nicodemus, a small, unincorporated town in Graham County, is the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period after the Civil War. Today the town is a National Historic Site. This pictorial history explores the unique experience of mothers and their children in Nicodemus, some of whom were the first members of their families born free. This discussion will explore the dynamics of child-rearing during and after slavery, stories of children conceived in slavery but born free, and how baby names were changed or used to reflect attitudes about free-born children.
Bates, a Nicodemus descendant and historian, is the executive director and founder of the Nicodemus Historical Society. Working with the Nicodemus community, the National Park Service, and Senators Dole and Roberts, she helped designate Nicodemus as a National Historic Site. Angela presents educational programs to cultural organizations across the nation, covering the history of Nicodemus, Exodusters and black towns in the West, Buffalo Soldiers, and black women in the West. Her series of children’s books, Adventures of Nicodemus Annie, focus on the history of Nicodemus.
Angela joined the Humanities Speakers Bureau in 2010.