Illuminating Pages from Wilson’s African American History Now Online


The NC Cultural Heritage center has digitized a three page sections from a ca. 1914 edition of the Wilson Times on the progress African Americans in East Wilson have made in the past fifty years.  These pages document the African American entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers,  businesses and churches that have flourished during the period as well as giving us an insight into the thriving economy, schools and society that then existed in East Wilson.  A large part of the article speaks with pride of the Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home for African Americans that is being constructed with funds from all over NC.  The term ‘White Plague’ is used in the pages and after Google-ing the term I found out that it  is another phrase used for tuberculosis that refers to the sufferer becoming pale.

The article mentions the Lincoln Benefit Society, a fraternal and insurance organization for African Americans in Wilson that is led by Sam Vick.  I had never heard of this society, but I had certainly heard of Sam Vick, the former postmaster and Wilson luminary.  There are also some interesting ads sprinkled throughout the pages.

The word progressive is used a lot in this article and I wish people weren’t so scared of the concept these days; it is a great word that means tolerant, dynamic and growing.


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