Eyricka Johnson stands inside the Our Story Exhibit at Museum of the Albemarle, her face beaming with excitement. The Elizabeth City State University senior knows that for the next two months this will be home, immersed in the one subject she’s passionate about, history.
Johnson will be an intern at the Elizabeth City-based museum, a part of the North Carolina Museum of History system. She’ll be working under museum curator Wanda Lassiter in collections, learning how to handle the vast inventory of historic artifacts.
“This will give me a better appreciation (for history),” Johnson said of her museum internship. “The artifacts make (history) more real.”
Johnson’s love of history became apparent when she was a student at Louisburg College, in Louisburg, North Carolina. A private, two-year institution, her plan was to earn her Associates Degree in psychology and then transfer to ECSU. But a history professor there helped her change her direction.
“He made me fall in love with history,” she said.
And then there are Johnson’s friends. Listening to her talk about history, they told her that it was clear she has a future as a history teacher.
Johnson says she can talk about history easily and that fact led her to making a decision to teach. She has, she says, found her passion.
Johnson says U.S. history in general interests her, but she also enjoys the regional history found at Museum of the Albemarle. She says she especially enjoys the rich African-American heritage found in the area, specifically Elizabeth City’s role in the famed Underground Railroad, a network that would help enslaved people find freedom in the north.
Originally published May 22, 2018 by Robert Kelly-Goss.