NC Reads @ WF Historical Museum

Join the Statewide Read

The Wake Forest Historical Museum is excited to announce that it will be part of North Carolina Humanities’ statewide book club for 2022. We will join libraries, museums, and individuals across the state in reading books that explore issues of racial, social, and gender equality and the history and culture of North Carolina.

Each month, we’ll meet at the museum to discuss the book. Then, we’ll join people across the state in watching a live conversation with the book’s author. This is a great chance to meet new people who share your interest in the history and culture of North Carolina!

A limited number of free books will be available to participants. When registering please note if you would like to be considered for one of these books. Books can also be purchased from our local bookstore, Page158 Books, or at your local library. 

Register for the events that most interest you.

Those who need accessible books may request North Carolina Reads books for free courtesy of the State Library of North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Please read the eligibility requirements to see if you qualify for service.

If you are not interested in attending the museum’s events, you can register for the live streams directly through the NC Humanities website.

Please note that selected books are intended for readers 18 and over and may not be suitable for some audiences.

Book Events

February 2022 – Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia by Thomas Healy

*Note: The museum hosted a book club on Soul City in 2021, so we will not be hosting an in-person event, although you may still register for the author event on February 28 at 6:30 pm.

Nonfiction. In a gripping, poignant narrative, acclaimed author Thomas Healy resurrects this forgotten saga of race, capitalism, and the struggle for equality. Was it an impossible dream from the beginning? Or a brilliant idea thwarted by prejudice and ignorance? And how might America be different today if Soul City had been allowed to succeed?

March 30, 2022 @ 6:00 pm – The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash

Historical Fiction. Intertwining myriad voices, Wiley Cash brings to life the heartbreak and bravery of the now forgotten struggle of the labor movement in early twentieth-century America—and pays tribute to the thousands of heroic women and men who risked their lives to win basic rights for all workers.

Meet at the museum at 6 pm for an informal conversation about the book. At 7 pm, we will live stream a statewide event featuring author Wiley Cash and Dr. David Zonderman, a professor of history at NC State.

April 27, 2022 @ 5:30 pm– Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

Historical Fiction. Nineteen-year-old Cowney Sequoyah yearns to escape his hometown of Cherokee, North Carolina, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. When a summer job at Asheville’s luxurious Grove Park Inn and Resort brings him one step closer to escaping the hills that both cradle and suffocate him, he sees it as an opportunity.

Meet at the museum at 5:30 pm for an informal conversation about the book. At 6:30 pm, we will live stream a statewide event featuring author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Dr. Trey Adcock.

May 11, 2022 @ 5:30 pm – Pauli Murray: A Personal and Political Life by Troy R. Saxby

Nonfiction Biography. Raised in Durham, the Rev. Dr. Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray (1910–1985) was a trailblazing social activist, writer, lawyer, civil rights organizer, and campaigner for gender rights. In this intimate biography, Troy Saxby provides the most comprehensive account of Murray’s inner life to date, revealing her struggles in poignant detail and deepening our understanding and admiration of her numerous achievements in the face of pronounced racism, homophobia, transphobia, and political persecution.

Meet in person at the museum at 5:30 pm for an informal conversation about the book. At 6:30 pm we will live stream a statewide event featuring author Troy Saxby and Executive Director of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice Barbara Lau.

TBD June 2022 – Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR by Neal Thompson

Nonfiction. The true story behind NASCAR’s moonshine-fueled origins. Long before the sport of stock-car racing existed, young men in the rural, Depression-wracked South learned that cars and speed were tickets to a better life. With few options beyond farm or factory, the best chance of escape was running moonshine.