African Americans in North Carolina have long played a vital role in serving our state and nation during times of need through the practice of medicine. Whether a physician, nurse, midwife, herbalist, or healer, Black medical practitioners continue to blaze trails to heal and care for their communities despite the history of health disparity. Their achievements are a testament to victories born from struggle. We are proud to recognize achievements and sacrifices with great expectations for the future. We acknowledge the important work that lies ahead and work to promote steps that Black North Carolinians can take to preserve their health.
To celebrate Black History Month here is a collection videos, podcasts, and narratives commemorating African American artists in North Carolina, with an eye towards the healing powers of the arts. These stories were produced for special programs and initiatives of the N.C. Arts Council including Come Hear NC, our 50th -anniversary celebration, the N.C. Heritage Award, and African American Music Trails.
Singing on the Land featuring Carly Prentis Jones at Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum State Historic Site
Carly Prentis Jones is a theater artist and vocalist performing on stages throughout the region. She is a versatile performer - spanning opera, art song, musical theater, classic and contemporary theater. Some of her most favorite musical performance credits include: Camila in In The Heights, Nettie in Carousel, Lady In Green in For Colored Girls, and Dorothy in The Wiz, Nettie in The Color Purple, Sarah in Ragtime, and Lily in The Secret Garden. As a classically trained singer, Carly enjoys performing as a recitalist and as a soloist with sacred venues and organizations. She attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, a Bachelor of Arts in Black Music History, and a minor in Arts Management. You may follow Carly’s performance work at carlyprentisjones.com.
Singing on the Land featuring Bill Amey, Kennedy Atkinson, & Nicole Sibalo Chagwiza at Historic Stagville
Trombonist and vocalist Bill Amey’s ancestral roots run deep in Durham, North Carolina. They begin on the outskirts of the county in the late 1800s at the Stagville plantation. Once one of the largest plantations in the American South, Stagville spanned approximately 30,000 acres and enslaved nearly 1,000 African Americans. Upon emancipation, many of the freed families left Stagville and settled in the city of Durham. Among those people were Anderson and Winney Amey, Bill Amey’s great-great grandparents. It was there the Amey family took root. The William Amey Funeral Home and Florist Shop was an important institution in the African American community from 1933 until it closed in 1981.
Sometimes, the stress of life can leave you feeling hopeless and alone and you may not know where to turn. With support and someone to listen, you can find a way through. Hope4NC is here to connect you with the help you need, whenever you need it.
Old North State Medical Society, a chapter of the National Medical Association, was established in 1887 to support the interests of African American and minority physicians. Its principal focus has been to educate and advocate for equal access to quality health care for the most vulnerable patients and populations residing in North Carolina.
In 2020, Old North State Medical Society was in the forefront of COVID-19 testing throughout the state of North Carolina. Old North State Medical Society is a trusted medical organization in North Carolina for the African American, Latinx, and other minority communities particularly in regards to culturally sensitive messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reach of ONSMS spans the urban and rural areas of the state including Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Jacksonville, Raleigh, and Winston- Salem, which include ONSMS’s affiliate physician medical societies.