W.Va. – The Archives and History Library will present three lectures in June at
the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The programs begin at
6 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
Doug Wood will present “Cultural Crossroads: Establishing the 17th Century Fur
Trade in the Trans-Allegheny Region” on Thursday, June 15.
Wood earned a bachelor of science degree in wildlife management in 1977 from
West Virginia University. Since graduation he has melded his interest in
ecology with his interest in history to enhance public understanding of the
influences of historical cultures upon the natural world and vice versa. The
West Virginia Humanities Council recently accepted his historical character
Gabriel Arthur on its History Alive! roster.
Arthur is believed to be the first white man to see the Kanawha Valley. Doug
Wood has studied, in depth, the landscape and cultures that Arthur encountered
on his Trans-Montane journey to the Kanawha and Ohio River valleys in 1673 and
1674 on behalf of his master, Abraham Wood. The presentation will reveal the
peoples that Arthur attempted to secure to Wood’s trading enterprise, as well
as clues to the environment of the region at that time.
Thursday, June 22, author, journalist, and documentarian Eric Douglas will
present “Memories of the Valley 2016.”
will show his updated documentary, which contains a selection of personal
stories of Charleston and Kanawha Valley residents that he captured during
FestivALL 2015, 2016 and Fall 2016. He also will discuss his book Capturing
Memories: How to Record Oral Histories (2016).
has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Marshall University and a
certificate in documentary arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke
University. He is the author of several books, among them Common Valor
(CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013), a companion to his
multimedia documentary West Virginia Voices of War, and Capturing
Memories. He also has recorded oral histories in the Archives and History
Library for FestivALL 2015 and 2016.
Thursday, June 29, Martin will present “African American Life: A Personal
Perspective,” the second lecture of the 2017 The Block Speaker Series.
native of Charleston, Ella Jean Martin is the daughter of Emanuel and Vivian
Robinson. She and her siblings attended the West Virginia Deaf and Blind School
in Institute. Martin left after the fifth grade, transferring to a school
better suited for deaf people in Romney. She was an outstanding basketball
player and a majorette for three years. After graduating, she set her sights on
college, but financial hardships led her on a different course. She attended
barber school in Institute and upon completion in 1961, began working at
Central Barber Shop on Court Street, a center for many African American
businesses. During those years, she gave birth to her sons David and Harry, and
after marrying Jack Martin Sr. in 1973, had a third child, Shannon.
1989, Martin purchased the shop, becoming the second deaf African American
business owner in West Virginia—her brother Emanuel was the first. She has
received the West Virginia Minority Development Center Award and the West
Virginia Executive Directors Award.
may park behind the Culture Center after 5 p.m. on these dates and enter the
building at the back loading dock area. There also is limited handicapped
parking available in the new bus turnaround. Visitors parking there should
enter at the front of the building.