Carol Boston Weatherford

2003 SeasonCarol Weatherford

The author of more than a dozen books, Carole Boston Weatherford is an NAACP Image Award finalist and winner of the Carter G. Woodson Prize from National Council for the Social Studies. She mines the past for family stories, fading traditions and forgotten struggles. In performance, she weaves poetry, history, chants and percussion into school and community programs for all ages: students, teachers and aspiring writers. Program themes include poetry, oral traditions, family literacy, family stories and writing children's books.


The Sound that Jazz Makes (2000)

Remember the Bridge: Poems of a People (2002)

Jazz Baby (2002)

Sidewalk Chalk: Poems of the City (2001)

Princeville: The 500-Year Flood (2001)

Sink or Swim: African American Lifesavers of the Outer Banks (1999)

Juneteenth Jamboree (1995)

Grandma and Me (1997)

Me and the Family Tree (1997)

Mighty Menfolk (1997)

My Favorite Toy (1997)

The African-American Struggle for Legal Equality (2000)



Princeville: 500 Year Flood


Jimmy saw the weather warning flash across the TV screen. Hurricane Floyd was heading toward the North Carolina coast with one hundred thirty-five-mile-an-hour winds. In Princeville--a town with two stoplights, two schools and no post office--Mama, Jimmy and Lavada packed their bags in case they had to flee the storm.


The ground was still soaked from hurricane Dennis two weeks earlier by the time Floyd hit on September 16th. The winds eventually calmed, and Princeville residents breathed sighs of relief. Mama, Jimmy and Lavada kneeled down and prayed. Their town beside the Tar River had been spared.


Lavada still feared the worst, though. "Can I sleep with you, Mama?"


"Sure, honey," said Mama, hugging Lavada.

Rain poured down for nearly two days, forcing people in lowlands to move to higher ground. By the time the sun began to shine, the Tar River was rising six-to-eight inches an hour.


At nightfall, more than one hundred people worked to sandbag the dike in hopes of holding back the floodwaters.


Shortly after midnight, Mayor Perkins climbed the levee and halted the work.

"The water will come three to five feet over the dike. We need everyone to get out."