Thomas Day, Cabinet Maker: Man in the Middle

Thomas Day, Cabinet Maker: Man in the Middle

Thomas Day (1801-ca. 1861) is mostly remembered today by North Carolinians as a furniture maker who had the largest furniture business in the state during the height of slavery. A black artisan and business man, Day’s shop turned out striking beds, bureaus, tables, sofas and chairs that are still highly coveted just as they were over 150 years ago. But Day is increasingly being seen as more than just a talented Tar Heel craftsman. Described by the New York Times as a “major antebellum figure” he stood at the center of competing forces in nineteenth-century America: between black and white, slave and free, North and South, Africa and America, and art and craft. Dramatic new research is forcing a re-interpretation of the complex layers of identity Day created to maintain his personal integrity as a human being while living with the racism of the antebellum South. This dynamic mediated presentation by film-maker, educator, and long-time Thomas Day researcher, encourages audience participation as they analyze the historical evidence, savor his legacy in wood, and explore the mystery of one of our state’s most extraordinary and fascinating historical figures.

Requirements: 
LCD projection system preferred; or carousel slide projector with remote control and screen