On the south side of the Albemarle Sound at Bull's Bay in eastern North Carolina’s Tyrrell County just north of US Highway 64 sits the Eastern 4-H Center. On the last weekend in October 2018, the Friday Fellowship met for Seminar 4 in the state’s least populated county. The dining hall and meeting room were just a few yards from the water’s edge in this beautiful rural setting. A few photos from the weekend can be found here.
Prophetic Leadership was the theme of Seminar 4. Recommended reading included:
On the first full day of the weekend together, the group visited the nearby Somerset Place – a former plantation that was one of the largest single holdings of enslaved persons in North Carolina. Somerset is in present-day Washington County approximately 15 miles from the Eastern 4-H Center. It was a rainy walk around the site, but the weather allowed some details to shine through demonstrating how what may be perceived as past systems or mental models impact our interactions today. Even on a rainy day – or perhaps enhanced because of the weather – the tour of Somerset highlighted language, space, being, and absence.
On Friday evening, the group viewed the 2015 NC documentary Chairman Jones: An Improbable Leader. The story of James Henry Jones who lived in nearby Northampton County told a history from the grandson of 19th century slaves to 20th century poverty and sharecropping to 21st century impact on education and race relations in North Carolina. This film has been shared by WLI at NC higher education institutions twice this year in addition to being recommended viewing for the Seminar 4 on Prophetic Leadership.
“The major job was getting people to understand that they had something within their power that they could use.” -- Ella Baker
On Saturday, local Friday Fellow Mavis Hill from the class of 2003 who lives just a few miles from the Eastern 4-H Center shared a few hours with the group. She told the class a little about the part of the state that she calls home. She also shared lessons and opportunities with the group including more work she was doing in the area the very next weekend – and she welcomed the class members to come back for the event!
Continuing the journey that began on the mountain by being with each other at the sound… and moving forward.