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]