Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #35

Couple: Charlotte Tomlinson and Richmond Sanders

Date of Wedding:  1850

Place: Smithfield, NC

Officiant: Couple jumped the broom since enslaved people could not legally marry.

Fun facts

The groom was born around 1825 and the bride was born around 1831.  They lived on different slave plantations.

They began acting as husband and wife in 1850.

After Emancipation, the couple went to their local courthouse to make their marriage legal.  They appeared before the Clerk of Court in Johnston County, NC on March 10, 1866.

The couple had 5 children before Emancipation and 5 children after Emancipation.

By 1879, the couple had amassed over 100 acres of land on the very property where the groom had been enslaved.


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Sanders's Scholarship on Beach Segregation Featured in New Documentary

In 2015, Crystal Sanders published an article titled "Blue Water, Black Beach: The North Carolina Teachers Association and Hammocks Beach in the Age of Jim Crow," in the North Carolina Historical Review about African American efforts to resist beach segregation in North Carolina .  UNC-TV made a documentary based on her work that premiered on February 15, 2018.  The film will be shown several more times on UNC-TV and the NC Channel throughout the months of February and March.  Those interested can watch the film here:  http://www.pbs.org/video/the-hammocks-3ldetl/