African American History Month Celebration w/ Guest Speaker Laurel Sneed

African American History Month Celebration with Guest Speaker Laurel Sneed

MOUNT OLIVE- The University of Mount Olive will celebrate African American History Month on Tuesday, February 24, in Rodger’s Chapel at 9:30 AM. This year’s celebration will include Laurel C. Sneed as the guest speaker.

A native of Wayne County, Sneed is an acclaimed educator and film producer who will present Beyond 12 Years a Slave:  The Influential Slave Narratives of Tar Heels Moses Roper, Harriet Jacobs and William H. Singleton. This project is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Sneed is the executive director of the Apprend Foundation, a national history education foundation based in the Research Triangle Park. Sneed graduated from Goldsboro High School in 1967, received her undergraduate degree in 1971, and received her master’s degree in educational media and instructional design from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1973. Since the early 1990s she has been teaching history to K-12 educators. Since 2003 Sneed and her husband, Charlie, have hosted the “Crafting Freedom” teacher workshops, which have brought over 1000 educators from 39 states to North Carolina to study black artisans.

Sneed is a strong history education advocate and encourages educators to teach slavery with slave narratives. She developed instructional material for the National Endowment for the Humanities on the slave narrative, Twelve Years a Slave, in concert with the release of the major motion picture by the same name in 2013. Twelve Years a Slave won the Academy Award for the best picture of the year and is the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped, drugged and sold into slavery in Louisiana. Sneed’s lecture will feature clips from the motion picture, Twelve Years a Slave, and from Sneed’s own media productions based on the slave narratives of individuals enslaved in North Carolina.

For more information about this event, please contact Joanne McKay by email at

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit