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WEB EXCLUSIVE Despite having to overcome segregation during the Jim Crow era in North Carolina, Dr. Manassa Thomas Pope prevailed over abuse and discrimination, including a multitude of restrictions against African Americans, to register to vote in 1902, and later run for Raleigh mayor in 1919. One of North Carolina’s first licensed Black physicians, Pope was also the only African American to run for mayor in the South during the time.
Pope’s story of overcoming adversity in the Jim Crow South is an influential one—and one that many Raleighites aren’t aware of. The Pope House Museum in downtown Raleigh—North Carolina’s only African American house museum and the former home of Dr. Pope—aims to share his story with a new exhibit called A Family Story: Images of the Pope House Museum.
The Pope House was built in 1901 and opened as a museum in 2011. The new exhibit will explore the life of Pope and his family through a series of photographs ranging from 1880 to 1999. This collection includes tintypes from the late 19th century and polaroids from the ’90s. The museum’s original collection features artifacts dating back to the 1860s, including Pope’s voter registration card, his doctor bag used in the Spanish-American War and his father’s freedman papers.
The A Family Story exhibit opens to the public on Saturday, Feb. 6. Tours are by appointment only and are offered Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm. Call the City of Raleigh Museum (919.996.2220) to reserve your time slot at least 30 minutes beforehand. 511 S Wilmington St.
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