Weekly Journal 9

This was my last week as an intern for the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough. I finished up my work on the African American History tour. I was able to collect a solid amount of information regarding the slave owners that had been instrumental in the building of Hillsborough. After that, the only objective was to create the finished product of the tour.

Based on the information I had and the locations within downtown Hillsborough that corresponded, I was able to plot a route that would stop by each place. Starting in East Hillsborough, the tour will follow Margaret Lane west. From there the tour heads northeast to end up back at Churton St. I translated my notes on each historic figure and location into paragraph form and I was finished with the tour. This will now be used as a resource for the tour guides that will offer this particular tour visitors.

In reflection, this internship was very beneficial to my search for a future career path. I now know that I definitely cannot be a “paper-pusher”. I need to have some level of authority or creative license within my workplace. I also know that I will need to be working with other people on a regular basis. During the moments when I was alone in the office or at the library, I found that I did not work as well.

While in the intern position this summer, other career options presented themselves to me through other avenues. However, without the knowledge that I gained about myself through this experience, I may not have looked twice at these other opportunities. I don’t think I will end up working in a small historic office like that in the future, but I definitely gained invaluable experience in my time at the Alliance.

Weekly Journal 8

This week I continued working on the creation of a tour that will feature the African American history of Hillsborough. This isn’t a small task and I definitely will be challenged to complete it in the upcoming week, but I have made quick progress since taking on the project.

I was able to gather a great deal of information on Billy Strayhorn. Strayhorn was the writer of a great number of Duke Ellington’s jazz hits. However, Strayhorn shied from the spotlight and made sure to minimize his public exposure. In addition, he was not paid and did not receive any royalties from the songs that he wrote for Ellington. I cannot imagine not receiving any kind of recognition for the work I was doing. It wasn’t discovered that Ellington wasn’t writing his songs until Strayhorn wrote “Lotus Blossom”. This was a different style of piece and all of his followers were confused as to how Ellington could create such a different sound.

I also compiled all of my notes on Elizabeth Keckly. While she lived in Hillsborough, Elizabeth was known by her maiden name of Hobbs. She was on loan with the eldest son of the Burwell family and she experienced many traumatic events while residing in at the Burwell school. She was regularly beaten and she was forced into a sexual relationship with a neighbor. She eventually bore a child and was returned to her original home in Virginia. She then went on to become the dressmaker and confidant of Mary Todd Lincoln later in her life.

This upcoming week will be my last, but I am confident that I will be able to tie up my loose ends in the coming days.