Thomas Thibeault

The Haywood County Arts Council is celebrating Black History Month with a program that views the Civil War through the eyes of a slave.

Local author, Thomas Thibeault highlights the true story of Robert Smalls, a slave who stole a Confederate gunboat and surrendered the boat to Union Admiral Francis Du Pont. Robert Smalls escaped with his entire family of over 20 people.

Thibeault was born in Canada, raised in Ireland, and has traveled the world. He worked as a deck hand, a soldier, a train brakeman, and an art model. He was even a tour guide at the pyramids. He taught for 30 years in places as diverse as Russia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East.

Through it all, he read voraciously, thought deeply, and applied the lessons of his experience to life and the craft of writing. Now retired from teaching, he works and lives with his wife, Anna, and their 12 cats in Maggie Valley.

“We’re thrilled to have Tom Thibeault present our first gallery talk of 2019,” said Leigh Forrester, executive director of the Haywood County Arts Council. Come explore the fascinating true story of a slave who stole himself with Thomas Thibeault at the Haywood County Arts Council.”

The event is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at the arts council, 86 North Main Street in Waynesville. There is no charge for admission.

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