CVCC Welcomes Public To Discussion on “Living Life in Black and White” January 20

Leslie Dula McKesson PhotoCatawba Valley Community College’s Interdisciplinary Read Committee welcomes author and Western Piedmont Community College faculty member Leslie Dula McKesson to campus Wed., Jan. 20. She will discuss privilege and social justice using her book “Black and White: The Story of Harriet Harshaw and ‘Squire’ James Alfred Dula” as a backdrop. Her talk will take place in the East Wing Auditorium at noon and is open to the public.

McKesson’s talk is part of a series of special events focused on this year’s campus read, “Blood Done Sign My Name” by Timothy B. Tyson. The autobiographical work of history deals with the 1970 murder of a black man by whites in Tyson’s (then) hometown of Oxford, N.C.

McKesson is the Dean of Business and Public Services at Western Piedmont Community College. She grew up in the rural, family community of Dulatown located in Lenoir, N.C. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her master’s and education specialist degrees at Appalachian State University. She is also currently enrolled in the doctoral program in educational leadership at Appalachian State.

McKesson developed a love of genealogy passed on by her father, Harold Dula, who spent much of his lifetime researching, gathering, and preserving stories about his family. Using her father’s research, McKesson wrote and published “Black and White: The Story of Harriet Harshaw and ‘Squire’ James Alfred Dula.”

Met with unanticipated success, it received a Robert Bruce Cooke Family History Book Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians in 2014. It is being sold in a number of regional history museums and through online genealogical and historical organizations.

McKesson’s talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Donna Ross, 828-327-7000 x 4111, or

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