The Waterworks Visual Arts Center in Salisbury, NC, will host a gallery talk by Dr. Sharon D. Raynor in conjunction with our fall exhibition, Imprints, on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, at 7pm. Dr. Raynor’s oral history project “Breaking the Silence: The Unspoken Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans” is a powerful addendum to the exhibition, Through a Soldier’s Eyes: Remembering Vietnam.
Dr. Raynor’s oral history highlights the war experiences of Vietnam veterans in different parts of North Carolina. Funded by the North Carolina Humanities Council, her program explores the concepts of trauma, silence, healing, and recovery. The project evolved from her father’s war experiences as seen and told in his photographs and diary kept during his tour of duty. During the project, veterans who were once silenced by their memories of war shared their stories of indignities and pride, disappointment and sacrifice, honor and death, healing and recovery. The program focuses on the stories of the community of veterans who once shared a strict code of unbreakable silence and who now have formed a brotherhood to heal their wounded souls. Dr. Raynor also shares videotape clips of the public forums as well as excerpts from the oral history interviews, photographs, newspaper articles, and memorabilia from the war.
Sharon D. Raynor, Associate Professor of English, is the Mott University Distinguished Professor at Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, NC. She holds a PhD in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University in Pennsylvania. She is also the recipient of the Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship through the Fletcher Foundation and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. In previous years, she served as the Interim Director of the Honors College and the Department Chair of English and Foreign Languages at Johnson C. Smith University and as a Lecturer in the English Department at East Carolina University. She received both her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and her Master of Arts degree in Multicultural Literature from East Carolina University.
Since 1999, Dr. Raynor has written and directed two oral history projects sponsored by the North Carolina Humanities Council entitled “Breaking the Silence: The Unspoken Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans,” and “Soldier-to-Soldier: Men and Women Share Their Legacy of War.” As a Road Scholar for the Humanities Council, she has conducted numerous community forums highlighting the work involved in the veterans oral history projects. As a member of the American Folklore Society and the Oral History Project, she conducted several oral history workshops and programs. She teaches classes in and publishes in the areas of Vietnam War Studies, Multicultural and Contemporary Literature, Women’s Studies and African American Studies. She works extensively with Vietnam War veterans in North Carolina. She has also collaborated with LEARN NC (a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education) – North Carolina Digital Textbook to post excerpts of oral history interviews she conducted with Vietnam Veterans to their website.
Dr. Raynor was the 2007 recipient of the Johnson C. Smith University Par Excellence Teaching Award. She was born and raised in Clinton, NC.
Waterworks Visual Arts Center is located at 123 East Liberty Street in downtown Salisbury. Admission is free.
For more information, please call 704/636-1882 or visit (www.waterworks.org).