WILSON, N.C. — Plan to join Barton College students and faculty as they welcome U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield to deliver a brief lecture about his memories and experiences of the Civil Rights Movement in Wilson. The event will be held on Tuesday, April 30, at 5 p.m. in The Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center on campus. A question and discussion period will follow remarks. This program is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.
This event is the culmination of a First Year Experience course at Barton that explored the roots and legacy of white supremacy in American society. As part of the course, students visited St. John AME Zion Church in Wilson, where they listened to several community members recount their memories of the Civil Rights struggle in Wilson. Butterfield expressed interest in joining these discussions, but as a result of his responsibilities in Washington, he was unable to visit the campus until the April legislative break.
Butterfield is a life-long resident of eastern North Carolina. Born and raised in Wilson, he spent his formative years attending Charles H. Darden High School and worked tirelessly in the Civil Rights Movement as a youth. His parents were Dr. and Mrs. G. K. Butterfield, Sr. His father practiced dentistry for 50 years and served as the first black elected official in Wilson since reconstruction. His mother was a teacher for 48 years.
Butterfield graduated from college and law school at North Carolina Central University in Durham. After earning his law degree, Butterfield founded a law practice in Wilson and served the community in that capacity for 14 years. He is best known for his successful litigation of voting rights cases that resulted in the election of African-American elected officials.
In 1988, Butterfield was elected as Resident Superior Court judge. In this role, he presided over civil and criminal court in 46 counties of North Carolina. For two years, he served on the North Carolina Supreme Court by appointment of the governor. Butterfield retired from the judiciary after 15 years of service and successfully ran for Congress. He was elected to serve the First District of North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election on July 20, 2004, where he continues to serve today.
In Congress, Butterfield is a champion of affordable medical care, education, investments in rural communities, veterans, renewable energies, and federal programs that support low-income and middle-class Americans.
Butterfield serves in the Democratic leadership as Chief Deputy Whip and as First Vice-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. He sits on the influential Committee on Energy & Commerce as the 8th most senior Democrat on the Health Subcommittee. In addition, he serves as a member of the subcommittees of Commerce, Manufacturing & Trade, and Oversight and Investigations.
He is a life-long member of Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church, a veteran of the U.S. Army, and a proud father and grandfather.
For additional information about this event, please contact George Loveland, director of Hackney Library, at 252-399-6501 or gwloveland.edu.