Local music ensemble to take part in tribute for slain NC woman

A view through the lens of an Artauro Productions' camera during Mebanesville's Carrboro Music Festival music video shoot on September 2. Members of the regionally-recognized music ensemble Mebanesville will join national recording artist Si Kahn and Charlotte-based singer-songwriter Katie Oates as part of the Ella May Memorial Day celebrations and commemoration on Saturday September 12. The online event is part of the Ella May Wiggins Committee’s on-going efforts to promote deeper understanding of the life and legacy of Ella May Wiggins (1900-1929). The committee has been working closely with officials in Gastonia, NC to erect a memorial statue of Ella May Wiggins near downtown Gastonia, NC, the epicenter of the 1929 Loray Mill Strike in 1929. 

Members of the regionally-recognized music ensemble Mebanesville will join national recording artist Si Kahn and Charlotte-based singer-songwriter Katie Oates as part of the Ella May Memorial Day celebrations and commemoration on Saturday September 12. 

The online event is part of the Ella May Wiggins Committee’s on-going efforts to promote deeper understanding of the life and legacy of Ella May Wiggins (1900-1929). The committee has been working closely with officials in Gastonia, NC to erect a memorial statue of Ella May Wiggins near downtown Gastonia, NC, the epicenter of the 1929 Loray Mill Strike in 1929. 

The event will feature a Zoom-based, on-line discussion of Ella May Wiggins, and her significance in the 20th and 21st centuries, followed by musical performances by Mr. Kahn, Ms. Oates, and Larry Vellani & Mebanesville. To register, visit Mebanesville’s FaceBook page, or copy this link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIldOipqTsoG9LV4ZLRilDEefJr6HQVgFuJ 

A single mother of seven, Ella May Wiggins was a naturally-gifted orator and song writer-balladeer, a charismatic leader, and an advocate for safe working conditions, fair pay and acceptable treatment for industrial workers in her era. Some saw her deliberate assassination as an attempt to break the back of the 1929 labor action in Gastonia and Gaston County, NC, one of the most notable labor actions in U.S. history. 

Ella May Wiggins was shot and killed in an open field outside of Bessemer City, NC on the afternoon of September 14 1929, three days before her 29th birthday. Wiggins was part of truckload of union members who were confronted at a secret, rural, vigilante roadblock while traveling home from a union meeting. 

Members of Mebanesville performing on Saturday include Mebane residents Don Porter, Larry Vellani, and Peggy Boswell; Chapel Hill resident, Iryna Tkachenko; and Hillsborough resident, Jane Davis. 

Last week local neighbors and Durham-based Artauro Productions helped Mebanesville conduct a music video shoot in preparation for streaming a thirty-minute set at the 23rd Annual Carrboro Music Festival on Sunday October 4. 

For more information about Saturday’s online event, call 919.304.3670 or write Info@Mebanesville.com.