Salem Academy & College Presents an Update on Old Salem Museum & Gardens’ “The Hidden Town Project” Initiative

Salem Academy & College Presents an Update on Old Salem Museum & Gardens’ “The Hidden Town Project” Initiative

Press Release For Immediate Release
October 14, 2019

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (OCTOBER 14, 2019)—The Commission on Slavery and Its Legacy at Salem Academy & College will host a presentation at 7 p.m. on October 22 about Old Salem Museums & Gardens’ “The Hidden Town Project.”  The presentation will take place at the Shirley Recital Hall inside the Salem College Elberson Fine Arts Center and will feature Martha Hartley, Director of Moravian Research at Old Salem Museums and Gardens.

The title of the presentation is “The Hidden Town Project: To Research and Reveal History of Enslaved and Free Africans and African Americans in Salem, North Carolina.” Hartley will speak about the history of Salem, the Hidden Town Project Initiative, and the legacy of slavery.  The event is free and open to the public.

“The October 22 event is part of the continuing process of learning about the school’s past connections to slavery and strengthening its ties to the local community as Salem Academy and College approaches its 250th anniversary,” said Michelle Hopkins Lawrence, co-chair of the Salem Academy & College Commission on Slavery and Its Legacy.

Old Salem Museums and Gardens’ Hidden Town Project is an initiative created to research and reveal the history of the “hidden” community of enslaved and free Africans and African Americans who once lived in Salem, North Carolina. The Hidden Town Project will track the effects and legacy of enslaved people from the inception of Salem itself through the Jim Crow Era and into the 21st century. Since December 2016, a diverse, cross-functional committee of Old Salem staff and external scholars has been gathering regularly to research, discuss, and formulate a larger strategy to bring to the public this lesser-known aspect of the Moravian town of Salem. Once more data is compiled, this committee will expand to include descendants of the enslaved as well residents of early Salem. Even in these early stages of the research, it is becoming clear that by revealing and interpreting the dwellings, lives, families, and behaviors of the urban enslaved, Winston-Salem’s Old Salem Historic District might become one of the most important and comprehensive national historic and archaeological sites relative to urban slavery.

About Salem Academy and College

Salem Academy and College is the oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States. With more than 18,000 alumnae who serve as entrepreneurs, physicians, researchers, artists, lawyers, teachers, community volunteers, and corporate executives, Salem Academy and Salem College continue to educate the next generation of global leaders. For more information about Salem Academy, please visit For more information about Salem College, please visit

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