The African American State Fair

  • After the Civil War, a group of African American men in Raleigh were looking for a way to demonstrate the progress made by African Americans in NC.
  • In 1879, 22 of these men organized as the Colored Industrial Association of North Carolina.
  • Purpose was to improve and educate North Carolina’s African Americans and to demonstrate what newly freed people could accomplish.
  • The association succeeded in organizing a fair in Raleigh during the month of November for a number of years in the late 1800's.
  • The fair combined agricultural and industrial displays. Exhibitors displayed farm produce, crafts, and arts, including such items as poultry, needlework, quilts, and paintings.
  • Prominent politicians and public figures, both black and white, made speeches during the fair.
  • Parades and bands lent a festive air to the activities.
  • Visitors traveled to the fair from across the state, and many railroads offered discounted rates to the fair’s exhibitors.
  • The Colored Industrial Association Fair did not become a financial success, however.
  • When the fair was discontinued is unclear, although it lasted at least a decade
  • This video is about the civil rights movement with John Green!! (The author of The Fault In Our Stars)

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