African-American Heritage Initiative

African-Americans played a significant role in the city’s history, but during the era of segregation – often referred to as the "Jim Crow" era – their contributions frequently were overlooked and unrecorded. The city’s African-American Heritage Initiative addresses this shortcoming by collecting the history of Winston-Salem during segregation as well as the efforts of desegregation.

The initiative is being overseen by the African American Heritage Initiative Committee, comprised of nine city residents appointed by the City Council. The city’s Human Relations Department is providing staff support for the committee.

The committee is casting a wide net and wants to capture information relating to churches, neighborhoods, schools& education, civic groups, government, arts and culture, the professions and businesses, and more. Their ultimate goal is to create an archive that can be searched and used by anyone researching some aspect of African-American history in Winston-Salem.

To assist with the effort, each committee member is leading a collection team that will lead the effort to capture the history in a particular area. The teams and their committee leaders are:

  • Church Team: Donald Scales
  • Neighborhoods Team: Beverly Williams
  • Education Team: Jane Penn
  • Civic/Service Group Team: Annette Wilson
  • Government Team: Joycelyn Johnson
  • Arts/Cultural Team: Cheryl Harry
  • Professionals Team: William Fulton
  • Businesses Team: Dothula Baron
  • Oral Histories Team: Linda Dark

To sign up for a team, send an email to with your contact information (name, phone and email address) and the team that you would like to serve on. You can also sign up by calling CityLink at 311.

Community Orientation

The AAHI committee will be holding a community orientation meeting for all collection team members. 

1:45 - 4 p.m. Saturday, April 4
St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church
5000 Noble Street, Winston-Salem

At the meeting, team members will learn more about the initiative, how to reach out to the community and how to use the online submission portal for the digital archive that the committee is creating.