Hyde County news

Historical marker dedication to include ‘Along the Road to Freedom’ book signing

The public dedication of Hyde County’s newest historical highway marker commemorating the Hyde County School Boycott of 1968 to 1969 will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday (May 25) in Swan Quarter.
All activities will take place on the grounds of the Hyde County Government Center, 30 Oyster Creek Rd., and the silver-and-black sign will be installed at 20 Oyster Creek Rd.

“The Movement,” as it was known locally, put the spotlight on Hyde County as students and hundreds of other protesters conducted a school boycott which lasted for a year. It included daily marches and sit-ins in Swan Quarter and two marches to the capitol in Raleigh more than 150 miles away.

The Hyde County Board of Commissioners at its monthly meeting last September supported the request by Margie Brooks, former director of the Hyde County Chamber of Commerce. She  is also responsible for The Swan Quarterly  Facebook page that focuses on things of interest to both residents and visitors of Ocracoke and Mainland Hyde County.

“(This marker will) commemorate the efforts of Hyde County citizens to keep two historically black schools from closing that led to a school boycott and one of the most sustained and successful civil rights protests in America,” Brooks told the commissioners.

The N.C. Historical Highway Marker Program was established in 1935 to standardize the marking of the State’s significant historic sites. There are markers in each of the state’s 50 counties. This is the eighth such marker in Hyde County.

Prior to the ceremony, North Carolina author and historian David Cecelski will be at the Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department, 25 Oyster Creek St. to meet people and sign books from 11 a.m. to  2 p.m.

Cecelski was recently the co-recipient of the N.C. Literary and Historical Association’s Crittenten Award for lifetime achievement.

His book, “Along Freedom Road Hyde County North Carolina and the Fate of Black Schools in the South,” recounts the Hyde County boycott and efforts to keep two historically black schools from closing. 

He has written several award-winning books and hundreds of articles about the history, culture and politics of the North Carolina coast.