You are here

19 Jun 2022
Related Items: 

It may be that the Pea Island Cookhouse Museum in Manteo is becoming the annual spot for Dare County’s Juneteenth celebration. If that is the case, it’s as good a location as there could be.

The small museum, tucked away next to a park on the south side of the town, tells the story of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station, the first all African-American station in the Lifesaving Service. The heroism of the crew that manned the station was remarkable, and as President of the Cookhouse Museum board Daryl Collins pointed out in his remarks today, the crew didn’t care about race, sex, religion or any other way humans divide ourselves. They simply, at great risk to themselves, saw their job as rescuing everyone.

For the second year, native son Tshombie Selby brought his operatic voice to the celebration. As he informed the crowd that gathered, his career is opera at the Met in New York is continuing with four contracts to perform in the chorus at the fabled center of opera. That’s a really big deal.

This year, though, in addition to his solo performance, Tshombie brought six of his choir mates from his time at Elizabeth City State University, and their a cappella performance was absolutely mesmerizing and perfect.

With a pleasant breeze rustling the leaves of the shade trees and temperatures moderate, it was truly a day to rejoice in freedom, but also to reflect on how hard one those freedoms can be sometimes and how precious that are. 

The lyrics of Lift Every Voice and Sing, the song that has come to be a part of Juneteenth is both a is both a resounding rejection of the horrors of the past and a stirring song of what is possible.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us

The next national celebration is, of course, Independence Day. On the Outer Banks it is special and spectacular. Hopefully your Brindley Beach Vacations accommodations have already been made.