Born in Texas to migrant workers, human rights activist Baldemar Velasquez learned the harsh realities of farm work early in life. He went on to found the Farm Labor Organizing Committee and is known for his work on the on-going boycott of the North Carolina-based Mount Olive Pickle Company. He'll discuss the economic role of migrant workers and unions at 11:45 a.m. in Duke Auditorium on the NCCU Campus.: 530-6100. Free.
In 1970, historian Tim Tyson was a 10-year-old living in Oxford, N.C., when three whites murdered a 23-year-old black veteran. The events that followed--a fiery courtroom battle, Tyson's father's pleas to his white congregation to come to grips with racism, the burning of the town by angry black radicals--caused Tyson's family to leave. Tyson reads from his book Blood Done Sign My Name at 7 p.m. Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St, Durham. 286-2700. Free.
Run on Water, an examination of coastal Carolina's African-American experience during the Civil War, focuses today on the role of U.S. Colored Troop Regiments. Project creator Darrel Stover and his son Darius Stover host a special poetry reading/lecture/slide show with historian C.R. Gibbs and artists Jackie Marriott, Thomasi McDonald and Morton Brooks. Noon-3 p.m. at the Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville Rd, Durham. 683-1709. Free.
Baklava. Folk dancing. Halvah. Belly dancing. Strong coffee. Do you need any more reasons to attend the Lebanese Festival today at the NC. State Fairgrounds? Well here are a few more: Curiosity about Lebanese customs and crafts, warm hospitality, and the chance to honor the centuries-old culture of a Middle Eastern country--that's something we could do a little more of. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kerr Scott Building, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh. 462-0601, www.tlanc.org. $2.
If you've got some free time this summer, consider becoming a volunteer docent at the NC Museum of Art: Apply by June 30 to participate in docent training sessions, which begin in late August. 839-6262 (ext 2144). 2110 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh. 839-6262, www.ncartmuseum.org.
Who are the muses--are they goddesses, harlots or art whores? Bickett Gallery presents Ana Vizcara's Inspiring the Muses, portraits of 27 real women portrayed as archetypes through photography, paintings and mixed media. The exhibition opens May 21, with a reception tonight from 7 p.m. to midnight. Bickett Gallery has a cash bar, so relax and enjoy the show. 209 Bickett Blvd, Raleigh. 836-5358, www.bickettgallery.com. Tue-Sat 11 am-6 pm.