Since 1976, Americans across the country celebrate Black History Month from February 1 to March 1. This opportunity began as a weeklong event in February 1915, and became a staple in the U.S. to recognize the achievements of influential black men and women across the nation. This year, in their annual celebration of Black History Month, Sampson Community College (SCC) is bringing a regionally influential woman to the spotlight, Sampson County native, Dr. Bertha Boykin Todd.
SCC is honored to welcome Dr. Todd, lifelong friend and supporter of the SCC Foundation, to visit and speak with students and the community about her most recent work, Reflections on a Massacre and a Coup. Dr. Todd will be in SCC’s Learning Resource Center (LRC) from 4PM – 5PM on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, for a discussion and book signing. There will be books available for purchase at the event.
Born in Garland, North Carolina (NC), Dr. Todd has dedicated her life to civil rights advocacy. In a 2022 interview with Lynda Van Kuren of Wilma, Wilmington’s Successful Woman Magazine, Dr. Todd stated that she was “…always very forward when I saw injustices. I was very bold in my comments; but I was also diplomatic, positive, and optimistic because I believe in God and people.”
After receiving her bachelor’s in biology and a Master of Library Science from North Carolina Central University, Todd started what would become a 39-year career in New Hanover Public Schools. Through her initial position as Williston High School’s first and only librarian, she was on the front lines of the integration conflicts in New Hanover in the 1960s. Later, she went on to earn a master’s degree and an Ed.S. in Administration Supervision from East Carolina University. In 2000, Dr. Todd was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Over the years, Dr. Todd has become part of many organizations and initiatives to give a voice to the past and strive for a better future. Having a heart for education, she is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Alpha Psi Omega Chapter, and an alumna of The Links, Incorporated—an organization she’s been a part of for 68 years. She is also an accomplished author of five books, her first publication, My Restless Journey, being published in 2010.
Todd explained that the initiative to write her latest non-fiction work, Reflections on a Massacre and a Coup, began in 1995 when she was asked to co-chair the 1989 Centennial Foundation—an organization that focused on bringing to light the events that happened during the civil unrest and racial tensions.
In her interview with Wilma, Todd stated, “(The massacre) took 100 years to uncover. It will take one hundred and more years to work with reconciliation.”
To this day, Dr. Todd continues to work tirelessly for civil rights advocacy in Wilmington, NC. With her recent non-fiction work, Todd has started the conversation toward reconciliation. SCC’s values the importance of these conversations and appreciates the support of the community to bring these initiatives to Sampson County.
To learn more about the Boykin Family Legacy at SCC please visit https://thevikingvoice.sampsoncc.edu
To read the full article from Wilma Magazine referenced above visit https://www.wilmamag.com/community-connector/.
For more information about Dr. Todd’s works visit www.berthaboykintodd.com.
About Sampson Community College
Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.