Dark addressing ‘questions with complicated answers’

Calvin Dark, a Siler City native, will share the story of his great-great-grandfather, Aaron McMasters as part of the Chatham Community Library’s Black History Month observance on Feb. 9.


SILER CITY — Calvin Dark can trace his family’s lineage in the Chatham County area back three centuries, but what he’ll share next week — and in a book he’s finishing — focuses on his maternal great-great-grandfather, Aaron McMasters, an enslaved man who fought to gain his freedom.

McMasters was thwarted by N.C. law, but there’s much more to his story.

That’s the subject of Dark’s lecture, “McMasters’ Will: The Scheme that Almost Freed Us,” part of Chatham Community Library’s observance of Black History Month and scheduled virtually on Feb. 9.

For Dark, an author, researcher and principal of RC Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations and media training firm, the story is more than 100 years in the making. Its roots are even deeper, and it’s Dark’s exploration of his past — starting with his childhood here — that’s helped shape his life, personal development and work. His path has taken him from Siler City to Duke University, to a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Morocco, to regular appearances through U.S. and international media outlets, where he provides insights and perspectives on foreign affairs, politics and current events.

In addition to his other work, he’s has written numerous articles and essays appearing in the North Carolina Folklore Journal, the Journal of American Historians, Duke Magazine, among others.

Dark, who’s just accepted the invitation to join the Duke University Library Advisory Board, spoke to the News + Record from Rabat, Morocco, where he lives part of the year. (He splits his time between Morocco, Washington, D.C., and Siler City.) [CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE]

Calvin Dark: Dialogue stratégique Maroc-USA — un partenariat solide et des perspectives prometteuses

“Aujourd’hui plus que jamais, les menaces au #Sahel et le manque de coopération de la part de l’#Algérie dans les efforts de préservation de la région nécessitent des partenariats stratégiques (le #Maroc et les #ÉtatsUnis) qui s’engagent véritablement à donner la priorité à la sécurité.”


Our American Mosaic:2022 National Genealogy Society’s Family History Conference

I’m REALLY excited to be a presenter at the 2022 National Genealogy Society’s #FamilyHistory Conference in Sacramento! I’ll be talking about #McMastersWill: The Scheme That Almost Freed Us during the “#AfricanAmerican #Genealogy Talks” series. 

(Article originally appeared at: https://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/africanamerican2022/)

African American Conference Track 2022

February 22nd, 2022 by Roger Prince

Nine Lectures on African American Genealogy

A total of nine lectures on African American genealogy are included in this year’s conference. There is a complete list below. There is a strong emphasis on early African Americans in California and the West.  Janice Lovelace is giving three talks and five other speakers are giving one as well.

Lovelace will talk about the long history of Black men and women in the American West and Southwest beginning in the 16th century (F313), how to research African American women (T252) and where to look for records of African American cowboys (W148).  Charlotte Bocage discusses the records she used to trace Pamela, an enslaved woman (T202). Calvin Dark will take listeners through the complicated scheme a southern slave owner set up to circumvent southern anti-manumission laws and free his slaves upon his death (T212).  Karina Robinson will talk about a few of the more than 360 African Americans who owned land in the first decade of California’s statehood. (T222).  Ari Wilkins will talk about how to search in newspapers to find enslaved and formerly enslaved people (T242).

Décision du tribunal de l’UE: Prétendre que le #polisario représente les Sahraouis est «cynique et hypocrite» (analyste américain)

“Il est incroyablement cynique et hypocrite que le polisario fait croire faussement en Europe représenter la voix des #Sahraouis. C’est bien au #Maroc que les Sahraouis ont une vraie voix et l’ont fait entendre librement lors des élections marocaines tenues il y a moins d’un mois.” – Calvin Dark