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Building a Mixed Race Community

The People, Building, and Sites of the Winton Triangle

February 9 - March 31

Opening Reception

February 11th at 2pm  

Photoworks is delighted to host the work of acclaimed photojournalist and historian, Marvin Tupper Jones, in the exhibition, Building a Mixed Race Community.  The show will be on display from February 9th - March 31st. 


The history covered in this exhibit spans from 1851 to 1973 and takes the viewer from the antebellum time through the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the modern Civil Rights eras.  It tells stories about over 30 people along with photographs and text. Four women are featured, as well as business people, farmers, carpenters, educators, church leaders, soldiers (Civil War and WWII), Civil Rights activists and organizations. 


Marvin on his work "I’ve been documenting my home community since I was a teenager in the 1960’s.  The photograph of the river in panel #2 was made in 1972 when I was 20.  The archival photographs were digitized at people’s homes except when I was allowed to borrow them.  Aerial drone photographs allowed for new angles and to get views above cars and weeds.


I brought this exhibit to wherever the people are in my native Hertford County, NC. We have no gallery spaces, exhibits are rare and exhibit attendance is sparse, so a lightweight and portable collection needs to be taken to gatherings. I used easily replaceable poster frames that are set up on easels.  I had six showings in church fellowship halls, a library, the gymnasium of the community college, the covered walkway of a former high school during a Juneteenth event and my old school’s auditorium.

My home community is so different from most of the south that you’ve heard of.  Our written history began 21 years before Jamestown, and we’ve been multi-racial and multi-cultural since then. The panels here cover about 1/3 of our history.  Please have questions – always."

Marvin Tupper Jones

Marvin is a documentary photographer whose career served businesses,
institutions and governments. He has been published in well-known magazines and has worked i
n South America, the Caribbean and Africa. Jones’ documentary photography in Haiti and the East African nation of Somaliland has been exhibited in one-person shows at the Organization of American States, Howard University, California African American Museum and the Roanoke-Chowan Community College.

Jones’ decades-long career expanded to other forms of documentary media. He accomplished this through the founding of the Chowan Discovery Group (CDG). The mission of the CDG is to research, document, preserve and present the 400+ year-old history of the land-owning tri-racial people of color of the Winton Triangle, an area centered in Hertford County, North Carolina. Founded in 2008, the Chowan Discovery Group ( co-produced in 2009 its first major presentation, a stage production, scripted by Jones, called The Winton Triangle.

The CDG is the recipient of six grants from the public and private foundations. The CDG
succeeded in placing the Pleasant Plains Schoolhouse, the Winton Triangle’s first, on the
National Register of Historic Places and secured preservation work for one of the largest of the Rosenwald school buildings, the C.S. Brown Auditorium in Winton, NC.

In addition to writing articles, Jones has made many presentations about the Winton Triangle’s history on national and regional radio and television, at colleges and universities, museums and to civic groups. The North Carolina Office of Archives and History and the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission accepted ten of his nominations for historical markers. Jones is also the producer of nine video documentaries – four of them for Chowan Discovery. A native of Cofield, a village in the Winton Triangle, Marvin Tupper Jones began this project over two decades ago by scanning the photograph collections of relatives and neighbors. The Winton Triangle digital collection now has over 90,000 files of photographs, documents, maps,
audio and video recordings. His Chowan Discovery work has yielded awards of excellence from the North Carolina Society of Historians, the African American Historical and Genealogical Society, the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage and the Society of the First African Families of English America.

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