Category Archives: Culture & The Arts

New exhibit highlights Durham entrepreneur Nello Teer Sr.– opening event Sept. 15th

Many in Durham have heard the Teer name, but few know the backstory of the family or company it founded. A crippling injury, Jim Crow denouncement, Blue Ridge Parkway contribution, even RDU rattlesnakes — these are just a few of the details found in a tale that spans more than a century and extends to countries around the world. The Museum of Durham History tells that story in its newest exhibit, DON’T QUIT: The Nello Teer, Sr. Story, set to open September 15th at the Museum, 500 W. Main St., and run through December 15th.

The exhibit will launch with a public reception from 6:00pm to 8:30pm on the 15th, coinciding with the Museum’s regular involvement in Durham’s Third Fridays. Complimentary light refreshments and beverages will be available, and jazz guitarist Ashesh Chatterjee will perform under the gazebo. Robb Teer, Nello Sr.’s grandson, will be on hand to sign copies of his book Courage Ever – An American Success Story – Nello L. Teer, Sr. & His Company.

Museum Board member Renee Snyderman is curator for the exhibit, which features vintage images and lively text describing an enterprise that began with a mule team and a wagon and grew into one of the world’s largest construction companies.

“This is a real bootstrap American story,” said the Museum’s Interim Executive Director Patrick Mucklow. “The exhibit lends a uniquely Durham perspective to some of the major events of the 20th century.”

...[READ MORE]   Source: Durham History Hub

A Message from the MoDH

Human history is more than a lifeless list of dates and events. It is the story of people. The Museum of Durham History uses such stories to foster curiosity, encourage further inquiry and promote an understanding about diverse perspectives about the Durham community.

To be responsible, a museum must include ugly chapters of the narrative because these, too, are part of our overall heritage. Slavery was just such a chapter, and we see its lasting effects in the divisiveness that continues to plague America with feelings fueled by symbolic reminders such as monuments, flags and offensive words.

The statue in front of Durham’s old courthouse commemorated Confederate soldiers who’d died in the Civil War. The statue was erected in 1924 and sponsored by the local United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter who may have felt the 1923 Unity monument erected at the Bennett Place surrender site had received inordinate attention. But the courthouse statue, toppled last week, was a reminder of bigotry and oppression, a lightning rod for destructive behavior that has no place in a vibrant, forward-looking Durham.

The museum’s goal is to help Durham learn from its history, not repeat it. We promote a culture of inclusiveness in our telling of Durham’s stories and strongly condemn hate-filled rhetoric and actions whose aim is to denigrate and incite.  A war-weary Abraham Lincoln said it best in his second inaugural address when he urged our nation “with malice toward none, with charity for all … to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”



The Museum of Durham History is a 21st-century museum that uses stories about people, places and things to foster curiosity, encourage further inquiry, and promote an understanding of diverse perspectives about the Durham community and its history. The museum is putting its mission into action through a personal approach to history that sets this museum apart: an innovative, community model that engages with history through stories—the personal memories, experiences and family lore of our shared heritage.


We believe that history is relevant to understanding Durham today.

The museum documents and shares all of Durham’s stories, particularly those that traditionally have not been made a part of the historical record.

We confront difficult issues, encourage questions, and listen and learn from each other.

We take risks and experiment; success and failure are opportunities for learning.

The museum continually works to earn the trust of its community, partners and supporters.

...[READ MORE]   Source: Durham History Hub

The Listening- Coming Soon!

The Museum of Durham History has developed partnerships with North Carolina Central University and Hayti Heritage Center to develop a traveling exhibit to open in 2018 that will document hip-hop in Durham. This traveling exhibit will highlight Durham’s participation/engagement with all five elements of the culture. This includes celebrating local graffiti artist, DJ’s, B-Boys/B-Girls, Producer’s, Rappers, and Durham based Hip-Hop Scholars.

Late 90’s: Grand Opening of MADD WAXX, a Black owned record store in Durham

Late 90’s: Grand Opening of MADD WAXX, a Black owned record store in Durham

When consumers typically think of hip-hop and cities who have made historical contributions to the culture, major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Houston are primarily at the forefront of the conversation. Although small in size in comparison to major cities, Durham has crafted and created hip-hop spaces throughout the city, which has allowed the culture to thrive across the four elements (MC’ing, DJ’ing, B-Boy/B-Girl, and Graffiti).

FLYERS from the early-mid 80's from Funky 4 disco crew (ANT DJ MAJIK RUSH)

FLYERS from the early-mid 80’s from Funky 4 disco crew (ANT DJ MAJIK RUSH)

...[READ MORE]   Source: Durham History Hub

Community Storytelling at Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center


The Museum of Durham History received a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art to collaborate with current and former members of Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center to develop an educational exhibition on one of the oldest Muslim communities in North Carolina. Over the course of a year, this project will explore the history of Ar-Razzaq and its economic, political, and cultural impact on Durham and the state of North Carolina. It will culminate in an exhibition slated for early 2018. Follow along at

More than 50 people joined the Museum of Durham History at Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center on Saturday for a community history event Memories & Mementos. 

Volunteers from the Museum of Durham History, Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center, As Salaam Islamic Center (Raleigh), and Duke Muslim Students Association digitized and documented more than 50 photos, pamphlets, books, letters scrapbooks, school uniforms, and other treasures. We also recorded about 25 stories and memories in audio and video form. Everyone enjoyed bean soup and whole wheat rolls thanks to Beatrice Sabir and Verbina Sabir.

You can check out some photos above and videos below. We’re especially grateful to the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art for their support of this project and also to Story Kiosk for digital equipment.

We hope you will join us on August 19 at 3pm at Stanford L. Warren Library for a presentation on our research so far. More info here.


...[READ MORE]   Source: Durham History Hub

Louis E. Austin History Grove opens with touching dedication

 More than sixty friends and family gathered in Solite Park to honor Louis E. Austin, crusading editor/publisher of The Carolina Times from 1927 to 1971.
It was a lively event, with attendees volunteering many personal stories about Louis Austin, a friend, mentor, civic leader and inspiration during more than four transformational decades in Durham. Thanks to the Carolina Times for documenting the event in photographs. Please see the full album on Facebook page!
...[READ MORE]   Source: Durham History Hub

MoDH Executive Director Search Announcement

Executive Director, Museum of Durham History

Interested applicants, scroll down and follow the link to apply.

The museum has reopened its search for a new leader. Katie Spencer, the founding Executive Director, recently stepped down to focus on curatorial interests, and Director of Operations Patrick Mucklow stepped up to serve as Interim Executive Director.

“We’re on firmer footing than ever before,” said MoDH Board Chair Carlton Wilson, “and we’re eager to have a permanent executive director in place. There are exciting times ahead for the museum.”

The Executive Director is the museum’s face to the community and has overall strategic and operational responsibility for staff, programs and execution of the Museum’s vision. Community relations, fundraising, and exhibit oversight are important aspects of the job description.

The board is looking for five years of management and development experience with a museum or other performance-based organization, demonstrated business abilities, and strong communication and project skills.

The full job description is posted online.

Interested or know someone who might be? Applicants should send a letter of interest, resume and three letters of recommendation to: [email protected].

...[READ MORE]   Source: Durham History Hub
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