Famed storyteller to share Tubman’s legacy

Published 9:27 am Tuesday, February 15, 2011

JACKSON — The story of the most famous conductor of the Underground Railroad will be told here.

On Friday (Feb. 18), renowned storyteller Joyce Grear will relay the life and legacy of Harriet “Moses” Tubman at the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center.

Tubman was born a slave in 1820 in Dorchester County, Md. and fled to her freedom in 1849. Tubman’s story doesn’t stop there, as she is most known for her work in the Underground Railroad. In a 10-year span, she made 19 trips to the South and escorted more than 300 slaves to freedom. Tubman was also a nurse in the Civil War as well as a Suffragist and Civil Rights activist.

Admission is free for the program, organized by the Northampton County Cultural Arts Committee, slated to begin at 7 p.m.

Currently, Grear is serving as artist in residence, for The Family and Neighborhood Institute of North Carolina, Inc (FNI). FNI is a non-profit organization in Wilmington, with emphasis on academics and character building programs for at-risk youth.

In addition to her own performances, Grear teaches drama, writes plays, and directs the children of FNI. She uses stories as a teaching tool.

Known as the “griot” of Wilmington, she graduated from Williston Senior High School in 1966. Grear served as artist in residence (1980-1987) for the City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation Department. Under her guidance, the special populations department grew to include a wide range of community-based programs and projects. She founded and co-founded: The Wilmington’s Children’s Theatre, The Senior Players, Art Camp, and The Annual Youth Storytelling Festival; Grear has also toured Pender and Brunswick counties as a Living History Character and storyteller.

Since 1987, Grear has toured primarily throughout the Southeast, New England, and to South Korea and Japan for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools. She has appeared as a featured teller in many storytelling festivals, to include the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesbourgh, Tennessee and the National Black Storytelling Festival in Oakland, California.

For more information contact the Northampton Cultural Arts Committee at (252) 534-1383.