A Light on Local History

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Around Town, Online Exclusives, People

Author Curtis Hardison will sign copies of his book Griot: The Evolution of Edgecombe, A Historical Perspective in Wilmington and Topsail Beach on August 23 and 24.

Author Curtis Hardison, author Griot: The Evolution of Edgecombe, A Historical Perspective, will sign books at Poplar Grove Plantation in Wilmington on August 23 and at the Missiles and More Museum in Topsail Beach on August 24. Hardison, who retired from the U.S. Secret Service, is a native of Edgecombe who currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Griot: The Evolution of Edgecombe is a true story that chronicles the journey of three African captives from their homelands of Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Angola to a farm in Topsail Township, North Carolina. Hardison writes of his journey of four decades of research into his family tree going back to the early 1800s. Emancipated from slavery after the Civil War, his ancestors worked to create the farming community that evolved into the thriving independent community of Edgecombe in eastern Pender County. The book also includes stories of notable members of the Edgecombe community, including Mattie Sharpless, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Central African Republic from 2001 through 2003.

Curtis Hardison Book Author

In Griot Hardison also writes about two Rosenwald schools in Pender County that he attended: Sloop Point Elementary School, which was built using funds raised by the Edgecombe community plus matching Rosenwald funds, and the Pender County Training School in Rocky Point.

Author David Cecelski wrote of Hardison’s book: “Edgecombe may be small, but Hardison’s story is not. Griot is one of those rare and special books that looks closely at the history of one place, but sheds bright light on much of North Carolina’s coastal history.”

Anyone who is interested in local history will be interested in talking with Hardison and reading his book.

“We are pleased to host Mr. Hardison, whose research is important to our mission of preserving history today,” says Laurette Gordon, director of the Missiles and More Museum. “We encourage everyone who is interested in the history of this area to visit with Mr. Hardison.”

Attend a Book Signing

Poplar Grove Plantation during Poplar Grove Farmers Market
Wednesday, August 23
8 am to 1 pm
10200 U.S. Highway 17, Wilmington

Missiles and More Museum
Thursday, August 24
11 am to 3 pm
720 Channel Boulevard, Topsail Beach

About the author

Topsail Magazine Contributor

Topsail Magazine Contributor