CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Archives and History Library will present three lectures in June at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The programs begin at 6 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
Doug Wood will present “Cultural Crossroads: Establishing the 17th Century Fur Trade in the Trans-Allegheny Region” on Thursday, June 15.
Wood earned a bachelor of science degree in wildlife management in 1977 from West Virginia University. Since graduation he has melded his interest in ecology with his interest in history to enhance public understanding of the influences of historical cultures upon the natural world and vice versa. The West Virginia Humanities Council recently accepted his historical character Gabriel Arthur on its History Alive! roster.
Gabriel Arthur is believed to be the first white man to see the Kanawha Valley. Doug Wood has studied, in depth, the landscape and cultures that Arthur encountered on his Trans-Montane journey to the Kanawha and Ohio River valleys in 1673 and 1674 on behalf of his master, Abraham Wood. The presentation will reveal the peoples that Arthur attempted to secure to Wood’s trading enterprise, as well as clues to the environment of the region at that time.
On Thursday, June 22, author, journalist, and documentarian Eric Douglas will present “Memories of the Valley 2016.”
Douglas will show his updated documentary, which contains a selection of personal stories of Charleston and Kanawha Valley residents that he captured during FestivALL 2015, 2016 and Fall 2016. He also will discuss his book Capturing Memories: How to Record Oral Histories (2016).
Douglas has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marshall University and a certificate in documentary arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. He is the author of several books, among them Common Valor (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013), a companion to his multimedia documentary West Virginia Voices of War, and Capturing Memories. He also has recorded oral histories in the Archives and History Library for FestivALL 2015 and 2016.
On Thursday, June 29, Martin will present “African American Life: A Personal Perspective,” the second lecture of the 2017 The Block Speaker Series.
A native of Charleston, Ella Jean Martin is the daughter of Emanuel and Vivian Robinson. She and her siblings attended the West Virginia Deaf and Blind School in Institute. Martin left after the fifth grade, transferring to a school better suited for deaf people in Romney. She was an outstanding basketball player and a majorette for three years. After graduating, she set her sights on college, but financial hardships led her on a different course. She attended barber school in Institute and upon completion in 1961, began working at Central Barber Shop on Court Street, a center for many African American businesses. During those years, she gave birth to her sons David and Harry, and after marrying Jack Martin Sr. in 1973, had a third child, Shannon.
In 1989, Martin purchased the shop, becoming the second deaf African American business owner in West Virginia—her brother Emanuel was the first. She has received the West Virginia Minority Development Center Award and the West Virginia Executive Directors Award.
For additional information about the Archives and History lecture series, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
Patrons may park behind the Culture Center after 5 p.m. on these dates and enter the building at the back loading dock area. There also is limited handicapped parking available in the new bus turnaround. Visitors parking there should enter at the front of the building.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, cabinet secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.