An MoDH Story from Founding Board Member and Volunteer Steve Channing

Steve Channing (L) and Duncan Heron (R) at the dedication of the History Grove for Becky Melton Heron

“The holiday season and New Year are traditional times to reflect on the gifts and blessings we enjoy, and to look ahead to new opportunities.  This seems especially apt for us here at the Museum of Durham History, which is going to be celebrating it’s 10th anniversary next October.  As a historian, educator and long time resident of the Durham community, I was an eager member of the founding board of the Museum.  Few cities in the South match the unique and still powerful story of the Bull City.  Indeed, our history offers a valuable lens on the entire American experience!  From the struggles of the post-Civil War, to new industry and the emergence of a lively Black Wall Street, from the Civil Rights crusades of the 1960s to the transformation of our city into a hi-tech center, Durham provides a great local framework for understanding the story of our nation.  So it is not just fitting but essential that the Museum has emerged as the center for remembering and interpreting this great narrative to a new generation of Durhamites.It has also been exciting for me to help launch and expand our “History Groves” initiative, part of the “Museum Without Walls” spirit that helps us reach out to every part of our diverse city.  Beginning with the site at Central Park honoring the great historian John Hope Franklin, the Groves have helped recognize and honor citizens who have made Durham the special place it is. From environmentalists to master music teachers, religious leaders, educators and Civil Rights advocates, the History Groves help remind us that “history” is not faceless forces, but the product of individuals working for a better Durham and a more just world.  The Museum of Durham History is committed to telling true stories that challenge and inspire us, . . . and to remind us that we stand on the shoulders of giants!Come visit, support and be part of our exciting plans for the next ten years!”

-Steve Channing

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