WINSTON-SALEM, NC (September 2, 2021)—In conjunction with the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Salem Academy and College, the Anna Maria Samuel Project: Race, Remembrance, and Reconciliation is sponsoring two events in September. These events, which are free and open to the public, will focus on the history of Salem’s relationship with slavery and the work of both enslaved and free African Americans in the history of the institution.
Historical Presentation and Community Panel
Clewell Residence Hall (Salem Academy and College Archives): This image shows laundry being hung behind Clewell Residence Hall, where Clewell patio is today. Many Black women worked in the laundry during the early twentieth century.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 7 p.m.
Hanes Auditorium, Elberson Fine Arts Center at Salem Academy and College
The Anna Maria Samuel Project will host a historical presentation and community panel that examines the history of enslaved and free Africans and African Americans in the town of Salem and at Salem Academy and College. Speakers and panelists include Martha Hartley, Director of Moravian Research and Co-Chair of the Hidden Town Project at Old Salem Museums & Gardens, as well as members of the Anna Maria Samuel Project.
Signage and Sisters Museum Unveiling, Walking Tour, and Commemoration of Enslaved Laborers
The Single Sisters Kitchen (courtesy of the Wachovia Historical Society): The Single Sisters Kitchen was located behind the Single Sisters House. Enslaved and free Black workers may have lived here during the antebellum period.
Friday, September 17, 2021 at 4 p.m.
The tour will begin on South Church Street in front of Main Hall at Salem Academy and College.
The Anna Maria Samuel Project will unveil new historical markers that tell the story of African Americans who were enslaved by Salem Academy and College before 1865 and those who continued to work at the school into the 20th century. At the same time, the Single Sisters Museum will be open for the community to view its newly updated panels and exhibits. The Anna Maria Samuel Project will then facilitate a short walking tour of the campus, focusing on the sites that have significance to the school’s history with slavery and race. This event will culminate at St. Philips Moravian Church, at the end of South Church Street, with a commemoration of those who were enslaved by Salem Academy and College.
About the Anna Maria Samuel Project: Race, Remembrance, and Reconciliation
The Committee on the History of Salem Academy and College, which included faculty, staff, student, alumnae, and trustee representation, was formed in the spring of 2017 to review College orientation traditions and to make recommendations about possible discoveries resulting from the research commissioned by the administration into the relationship between the institution and slavery. The committee completed its charge in the spring of 2018. Its final recommendations resulted in Salem issuing a formal apology for the use of enslaved labor at the school, joining the Universities Studying Slavery, and creating an ongoing institutional task force, the Commission on Slavery and Its Legacy at Salem Academy and College.
On November 22, 2019, the Commission was renamed the Anna Maria Samuel Project: Race, Remembrance, and Reconciliation. The name change better reflects the scope of the work of the Commission and also honors an enslaved African American student at the Girls School in Salem (1793 to 1795). Anna Maria’s father, Johann Samuel, was the first person baptized in Salem’s Moravian congregation. Her brothers were well-known musicians in St. Philips Moravian Church, located south of Salem’s campus on Church Street. Anyone wishing to know more about Anna Maria Samuel may visit the Academy and College museum in the Single Sisters House. For more information, please visit salemacademyandcollege.org/ams.
About Salem Academy and College’s 250th Anniversary Celebration
In 1772, Salem Academy and College was founded on the revolutionary idea that girls and women deserve a rigorous education to prepare them to lead the way for a better world. Over the last 250 years, Salem has built upon this foundation and pushed boundaries for women, empowering them to be leaders by preparing girls and women from all around the world to affect change, shatter expectations, and lead through the challenges and triumphs of their times. During the 2021–22 school year, Salem will celebrate its 250th anniversary, a formidable achievement in the history of American education.
Established even before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Salem has pushed boundaries for women at every juncture, enabling them to live their lives in ways that catalyze positive change. The public is invited to help Salem celebrate this singular milestone. Salem’s alumnae and friends have planned this anniversary for more than two years. The resulting series of events honor the institution’s history and point proudly to its next bright horizon as a preeminent school for girls and the nation’s only college dedicated to elevating and expanding the role of women in health leadership. To see a complete list of events, visit 250.salem.edu.
About Salem Academy and College
Salem Academy and College is the oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States. Founded in 1772 in Winston-Salem, NC, Salem has educated and prepared women to lead, shatter expectations, and rise to the challenges of their time—resulting in generations of women leaders and influencers in leadership roles throughout the world. Today, Salem Academy and Salem College continues to be focused on educating future generations of global leaders. For more information about Salem Academy, please visit salemacademy.com. For more information about Salem College, please visit salem.edu.