The Chapel Hill Historical Society
Five Orange County African-American Families Remembered:
Harriet Smith and the Smith, Fitzgerald, Morphis,
Kirby, and Toole Descendants
Presentation by Kim Smith
Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:30-5:00 PM
Chapel Hill Public Library
100 Library Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
The Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray's memoir Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family chronicles the lives of her Orange County grandparents. Her grandfather Robert Fitzgerald was a free man who became a notable Durham brick-maker. Her grandmother Cornelia Smith was an enslaved woman unconventionally reared alongside her sisters in their white aunt's Orange County plantation home. History has overlooked Cornelia's siblings and their mother, Harriet. Their captivating narratives reveal how freed African-American families lived in post-Civil War North Carolina. Join us and Kim Smith for a talk that re-introduces remarkable members of the largely forgotten Smith, Fitzgerald, Morphis, Kirby, and Toole families.
Kim has spent three years exploring historical archives and other sources in five states to unearth Pauli Murray's family tree. She has established a web-based initiative called Roots to Limbs.