Rhiannon Giddens: Illuminating Omar in the Wilson Special Collections Library

February 20, 2023

 
As Carolina Performing Arts’ Southern Futures Artist in Residence, Rhiannon Giddens draws on cultural artifacts and local histories to challenge entrenched narratives about the American South. For her new opera, “Omar,” Giddens spent time in the Wilson Special Collections Library studying the manuscripts of enslaved Islamic scholar Omar ibn Said.

In this new video from Southern Futures, Giddens explains the importance of preserving access to documents like Said’s, which provide direct insight into the complex and varied experiences of enslaved people.


UNC-Chapel Hill students can see the Said materials firsthand, too, by signing up for one of three “Up Close and Personal with Omar ibn Said” sessions: