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Virtual Book Club: The Waterman’s Song

October 8, 2020 @ 6:30 pm 8:00 pm

Banner for Waterman's Song bookclub

In partnership with Page 158 Books, the museum is excited to announce our second book club, featuring The Waterman’s Song: Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina, featuring special guest and author David Cecelski.

Cover of The Waterman's Song by David Cecelski.

Join fellow book lovers as we read The Waterman’s Song and learn about the lives of black boatmen, pilots, ferrymen, fishermen, sailors, and artisans in nineteenth-century North Carolina. From the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Outer Banks, The Waterman’s Song demonstrates the variety and significance of African American maritime culture in North Carolina.

Special guest and author David S. Cecelski will provide opening remarks before participants launch into a discussion about the book.

Event Details

Prior to our meeting on Thursday, October 8th, museum staff will email participants some thoughts and reflections on the book to encourage a vibrant discussion when we gather. During our meeting we will be joined by the book’s author David S. Cecelski who will provide opening remarks.

This program is free, but registration is required. Participants will also need access to a copy of the book, an internet connection, and a computer or smartphone to fully participate in our discussion. Copies of the book are available for purchase through Page 158 Books, although you may purchase the book wherever copies are sold.

If you would like to participate but cannot easily afford a copy of the book, please reach out to museum staff. We are working with Page 158’s Literary Foundation to ensure that individuals facing financial hardship are able to access the book. If you would like to donate a copy of the book to another participant, please reach out to the museum or call Page 158 for details on how to make a tax-deductible donation through their Literary Foundation.


Participants can register below or on eventbrite.com.

This event is part of Water/Ways, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition that explores water’s environmental and cultural impact. Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Humanities Council, and was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

This event is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Any views expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Humanities council.