The historic Carolina Theatre in Durham hosted the Black Communities Conference for three days from April 23-25. It was a multi-disciplinary conference hosted by The Institute for African American Research and NCGrowth, which brought together participants from various fields to discuss issues pertaining to African American history, culture, business, art, identity, etc. There were many lectures, workshops, and working groups that allowed for collaborative thinking on how to address the challenges black communities face.

One amazing pop-up was the VR experience “I Am A Man,” developed by Dr. Derek Ham from North Carolina State’s College of Design. Using an Oculus Rift headset, users can place themselves within the 1968 Sanitation Worker’s Strike, complete with lifting up and holding signs, photos, and documents in a virtual environment. “I Am A Man” will be at the National Civil Rights Museum in Tennessee and will eventually travel to more places.

“I Am A Man” VR experience
Another view of “I Am A Man.”
Filmmaker Byron Hurt leading a workshop on film making.
Documentarian Thomas Allen Harris speaks on how family albums can recover “forgotten” histories.

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