The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Local News

December 5, 2013

Book Knight co-authored to go on sale

TARBORO — Three days after C. Rudolph Knight's memorial service, a book he co-authored will go on sale.

"African American Heritage Guide Tarboro Rocky Mount Edgecombe County" will be sold from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Edgecombe Memorial Library. Knight's co-author and partner, Lawrence W.S. Auld, is responsible for the sale.

The 203-page spiral bound book offers a short description of African American sites in Edgecombe County and Rocky Mount. A GPS reading pinpoints the exact location of each destination. The majority of the sites are in Knight's native county, Edgecombe. Auld said one of Knight's favorites was Shiloh Landing, an area located on U.S. 258 North of Princeville. Shiloh Landing was the place where slaves were brought into Edgecombe by ships on the Tar River. A picture of Shiloh Landing was used for the cover. In another picture, Knight is shown walking on a fishing pier at the site.

Knight and Auld began writing the book a year ago. The co-authors hit a dreadful snag when Knight was diagnosed with a malignant cancer earlier this year. Knight lost his battle with the disease Nov. 29.

Realizing the inevitable outcome, Auld pushed to complete the publication during Knight's last days. The book was completed one week before Knight passed away.

"We started putting the book together about 11 months ago, but Rudolph had been collecting data and pictures for some 20 years," Auld said. "When he became ill, I pushed myself to get the final pages edited and everything right. I sent it the printers and I got copies back a week ago. He got to see it and he was very pleased."

The book is one of three co-authored by Knight and Auld. They also published, "From Water Street to East Tarboro, Keechtown, and The Depot: Tarboro African American Neighborhoods" in 2010 and in 2012 "The Education of a Generation: The Rosenwald Schools and Other African-American Schools in Edgecombe County, A Preliminary History."

All three of the books were published by the Perry-Weston Educational & Cultural Institute Inc., an organization he co-founded with Auld and Florence Armstrong, a retired educator. One of the missions of the incorporation is to promote African American history genealogy, culture and arts in Edgecombe County and all of North Carolina.

The relationship with Perry-Weston and Knight is not quite over. Auld said plans are under way for a fourth book.

"We have one more project," Auld said. "Rudlolph wrote a monthly column (with The Daily Southerner). He talked about putting them into a book. We began the project about two or three months ago. We got about 2 percent of it done. I look forward to working on this project in the next few months."

More than 300 people attended Knight's memorial service on Wednesday. The majority of the remarks that were made were about his love for genealogy and history.

"Rudolph started something that we should continue," said Dr. Evelyn Johnson, Edgecombe County Public Schools board member." We all should say thank you Rudolph for helping us remember something that we never should have forgotten."


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