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Save the Date! 

Please join us on Monday, June 17, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, 1217 Murchison Road (across the street from Fayetteville State University) for our annual Hari Jones Memorial Juneteenth Lecture. This event is free of charge.

Leesa Jones, co-founder and Executive Director of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum in Washington, North Carolina, will be our speaker. Ms. Jones is a well-known local historian and is appearing in conjunction with the Juneteenth Speakers’ Bureau of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission.


A native of Washington, NC, Ms. Jones retired as a preschool teacher after 32 years, teaching in schools in Philadelphia and Burlington, NJ. She started the African American History Tours of Washington, NC in 2009 to help locals and tourists discover 300 years of local history that had not been previously shared in local historical documents and books.


In 2014, with the help of the Phoenix Historical Society of Tarboro, Ms. Jones got a three-mile portion of the Pamlico-Tar River designated as a National Park Service-Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Site.


In 2016, she co-founded the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum which was designated a National Park Service-Underground Railroad-Network To Freedom Facility.


In 2017, with the assistance from the Phoenix Historical Society, Ms. Jones helped secure Beaufort County’s first North Carolina Highway Commission Historical Marker to honor an African American subject.


In 2021, she helped Washington get its first Pomeroy Historic Marker that celebrates an African American man named Hull Anderson who was born enslaved in 1784, bought his own freedom in 1826, and became a wealthy shipbuilder in Washington by the 1830s.

Juneteenth and the Hari Jones Memorial Lecture Series

This event marks the History Center’s sixth commemoration of Juneteenth, a Federal holiday observing the Emancipation of the enslaved during the Civil War, and the fifth in memory of the late Hari Jones.


Mr. Jones was a prominent African American historian who was the assistant director and curator at the African American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum in Washington, DC. His area of expertise centered on the contribution of Blacks during the Civil War. Organizers of the History Center heard him speak when they visited Washington, DC to research museums. He became a close advisor to the Center and spoke several times in Fayetteville.

Mr. Jones last spoke about Juneteenth in Fayetteville in June 2018. Several days later, he died of a sudden heart attack in Washington. The History Center decided to honor his memory — and his contribution to our understanding of the African American community during the Civil War, and through Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era — by sponsoring the Hari Jones Memorial Lecture Series.

We look forward to seeing you on June 17th! If you have any questions, please contact us at info@nccivilwarcenter.org or cc@nccivilwarcenter.org.

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