December 16, 2017
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Writer, students to present conversation about lynching

BANGOR —  Five Orono High School students will join writer and historian Stephanie Harp of

Bangor for “The 1927 Project,” a presentation about an early 20th-century lynching in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event will take place 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5,  at the Orono High School-Middle School library. The event is free and open to the public.

Harp traveled to Arkansas in 2013 to join descendants and relatives of those connected to the lynching to present historical and personal perspectives on what happened. “The 1927 Project” will recreate that community discussion.

“The public discussion in Little Rock was the first to include family members of so many major figures in the 1927 events,” Harp said. “The wounds from this lynching are still very raw in Little Rock. We all gain a better understanding of today’s news by looking at its roots in the past.”

Harp will be joined by Orono High School senior honors student Emily Noyes, who has participated in OHS speech and debate and OHS drama since ninth-grade; dancer, actor and honors student Tom Boss, who graduates a year early this spring; 11th grade honors student Erin Luthin, an OHS speech and debate team and OHS drama and community theater member; Elsa Saunders and Jessie Walker, both in ninth-grade and veterans of OHS, Orono Middle School and community theater productions. Jessie is also a member of the OHS speech and debate team.

Harp holds a master’s degree in U.S. history from the University of Maine, where the lynching was her research topic, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Virginia. She has published journalism, creative nonfiction and book reviews, and has presented her research and writing in Maine, North Carolina and Arkansas.

The Maine Arts Commission awarded Harp a Good Idea Grant for professional transcription of the discussion and of more than 13 hours of oral history interviews she conducted in Little Rock, to support her book-in-progress, “Inheriting Ninth Street: A Personalized History.”

The Maine Arts Commission is an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Little Rock presentation was supported by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council.

 


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