Black History Month: Social justice retreat center uses history to better future

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Enfield, N.C. (WNCT) – This Black History Month 9 On Your Side is highlighting people and places that are a part of the African American legacy.

The Franklinton Center at Bricks near Enfield is a social justice retreat center with a history of its own.

“The history of this place has been many things to many people in the community,” said Executive Director, Vivan Lucas.

More than 150 years ago, the Center was a place of oppression. The large farmland was a pre-Civil War slave plantation located between Edgecombe, Nash, and Halifax counties.

“This was a place where ‘unruly’ slaves were brought and broken in,” said Lucas.

An African American school was later built on the land decades after the Civil War. It was known as Bricks Junior College.

Today, the space has a new identity – a social justice retreat center.

“We bring people in from all over the world,” said Lucas. “Last year people came in from Scotland, The Congo, New Zealand.”

The Franklinton Center at Bricks now focuses on community events, leadership workshops, and spiritual growth.

“One of the things that I learned when I got here is that it makes me feel good and balanced,” said Adio Akil, visitor.

A magnolia tree also sits on the land which symbolizes where a whipping post once stood. For many, the tree represents perseverance and strength.

“When I see that tree I remember and it makes me want to move forward,” said Lucas.

You can learn more about the retreat center on their website.

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