Friday, May 26, 2017

Program Honors Freedmen, Surfmen and Heroes On N.C.’s Roanoke Island

Two presentations at the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island will examine the heroic story of the all-black Pea Island Lifesaving Station and that crew’s important example of positive race relations and diversity.

On February 19, NCARI and the Pea Island Cookhouse Museum will present “Freedmen, Surfmen, Heroes: The Unique Story of the Pea Island U.S. Lifesaving Station,” in observation of Black History Month and the rich and dynamic history of the Outer Banks.

Between 1880 and 1947, the men at Pea Island worked hand in hand with white crews of neighboring stations to save hundreds of lives from the perils of the sea. How did these groups of men set aside their differences and join forces to help save lives? What lessons do their stories continue to teach us?

Descendants of the Pea Island Lifesavers, Joan and Darrell Collins of Roanoke Island, will join costumed historic interpreters James Charlet and Linda Mallory from Hatteras Island to present a glimpse into this fascinating story and explore what it can still teach us today. The program will be followed by a question and answer session to illustrate the importance of these lifesavers’ trailblazing example.

Presentations of “Freedmen, Surfmen, Heroes: The Unique Story of the Pea Island U.S. Lifesaving Station,” will take place February 18 at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in NCARI’s Neptune’s Theater. The presentation is included with regular aquarium admission.

The aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission: ages 3–12, $8.95; ages 13–61, $10.95; ages 62 +, $9.95. Children 2 and under and North Carolina Aquarium Society members are admitted free of charge. More info at

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  1. Brian Postelle 3 months ago

    Thank you so much for covering this event!
    Unfortunately, we have had to reschedule the presentations for the following day, Sunday, Feb. 19.
    You can find the updated information here:
    Thank you,

    Brian Postelle
    NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

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    1. wordpressnjg 3 months ago

      We have made the adjustment. Thank you so much!

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