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UNC-Chapel Hill Digital and Lifelong Learning Presents:

“The Ongoing Fight for Freedom: Stories of NC’s Black Veterans”


“The Ongoing Fight for Freedom: Stories of NC’s Black Veterans” is a one-man presentation & performance elevating Black freedom fighters and veterans with North Carolina connections – known & unknown, on and off the traditional battlefield – who have engaged in over 400 years of a struggle for freedom, liberty, and equality. Their sacrifices, resistance, and resilience have contributed to American democracy, even as they were denied the full rights of citizens. Through listening to their stories in this production, we can gain a deeper understanding of our nation’s founding ideals, and harness the hope to continue the work, together, of making those ideals a reality for all.

The play combines storytelling, theater, and Kelly’s personal narrative in bringing to life the untold stories of Black freedom fighters and veterans, with a North Carolina focus.  Kelly will portray multiple characters throughout the play.  The performance is enhanced with multi-media – sound, video clips, images, etc., and will offer participants an immersive and impactful experience!

The show was written and is performed by Dr. Sonny Kelly, founder of Legacy Heirs Productions. The play’s development was commissioned & funded by the NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources’ America 250 initiative & produced by Carolina K-12 at Carolina Public Humanities, UNC-Chapel Hill.


A black and white image of Sonny KellyThe show is approximately 75-minutes long, followed by a 30-minute audience “talk-back” with Q&A and discussion.

Admission is free, open to the public, and not recommended for children under the age of 10.

Register Here

The Friday Conference Center will open at 2 PM and doors to the auditorium will open at 2:30 PM.
Performance: 3 – 4:30 PM
Q&A and discussion: 4:30 – 5 PM

Content Advisory:
Archival images, sounds & video depicting and referencing scenes of battle, war, the Jim Crow era, and racism. Suicide is briefly mentioned.


A heartfelt thank you to our campus co-sponsors:

The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History
University Office for Diversity and Inclusion
Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies
Center for the Study of the American South
Carolina Black Caucus
Carolina Student Union
Carolina Public HumanitiesCarolina K-12
WUNC – North Carolina Public Radio

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