African American historian, writer and artist Ann Miller Woodford hosts free virtual events

Press release from AARP:

AARP NC Mountain Region, which successfully hosted webinars focused on racial equity and understanding last summer, will continue its social justice efforts in celebration of Black History Month by staging several free virtual events featuring African American historian, writer and artist Ann Miller Woodford in the coming weeks, the organization announced today.

Woodford, who researched, photographed and wrote about Black history in her native mountain region in the highly-acclaimed book entitled When All God’s Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina, is scheduled to give a one-hour lecture on Thursday, Feb. 25 at noon.

Her subject will be “Actively Aging Through Activism and Art.” The public can register at The presentation will include ways that Woodford has highlighted the voices of people that have often been overlooked, as she shares the history and heritage of African Americans who have lived in far Western North Carolina communities.

The lecture will be followed by four additional virtual events featuring Woodford on Thursdays, March 11 and 25, and April 8 and 15 from 1-2 p.m. Those free-to-the-public sessions, held under the theme “When All God’s Children Get Together: Fostering Racial Justice Book Club with Ann Woodford,” will address several topics covered in the author’s new book.

Participants, who can register at, will discuss subjects listed below with facilitators and Woodford:

  • March 11 — General Overview. How African American people in this region compare to nationwide: race relations and racial disparities.
  • March 25 — History of Ethnic Cleansing i n Georgia and how i t l ed to African American people coming to Western North Carolina (includes other national cleansings, the Green Book and a coup in Wilmington, N.C.)
  • April 8 — What i s White Privilege and how i t can make a difference; Using your power to make a difference.
  • April 15 — Steps that can be taken to smooth race relations locally and beyond.

“We are honored and privileged to have Ann join us for these online events,” said Rebecca Chaplin, AARP associate state director of the North Carolina Mountain Region. “She brings such expertise and insights about African American history in Western North Carolina. I have no doubt that those participating in these sessions will benefit greatly from her knowledge.”

As a child in a segregated, one-room, one-teacher “colored/negro” elementary school in the small mountain town of Andrews, N..C. Woodward’s talents as an artist were discovered by one of her teachers. Soon, she was using oils, pencil, charcoal and ink as she drew remarkable scenes of people, animals and landscapes, which has led to a long career as an artist. Eventually, her creativity knew no boundaries, as she has excelled as a writer, designer, entrepreneur and speaker. Learn more about Woodford at her website,

Event participants can find her book at the library, various local and national online sellers or on her website. While the book is recommended, it is not required to participate.

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