Author Kevin Duffus to speak at BCC


DUBLIN — If you have an adventurous spirit and appreciate historical scoundrels and villains, you must have a front-row seat at the first of two Bladen Community College Writers Series presentations.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m., BCC will welcome acclaimed researcher, author, and filmmaker Kevin Duffus, as host of a program titled “The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate.” Referred to by his peers as a modern-day Indiana Jones, Duffus is a Road Scholar with the North Carolina Humanities Council.

With a special interest in the North Carolina coastline, Duffus is a maritime historian. His extensive research has been documented through books and films, earning him numerous awards including the George Foster Peabody Award, the World Hunger Media Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the National Education Association Award.

In 2008, Duffus published The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate, a detailed description of the famous rogue’s final six months in North Carolina. The controversial book presents shocking contradictions to traditional accounts about Black Beard’s origins, his travels, his death, and the identity and fate of his most trusted crew members. In the BCC Writers Series, Duffus will share and validate his conclusive discoveries.

In 2002, Duffus announced his discovery of the original Fresnel lens from the original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Until then, the lens had been misplaced for 140 years. Produced in France and made of 960 crown-glass prisms, the lens was found in Granville County, 200 miles from the lighthouse.

Duffus conducted a year-long search through thousands of hand-written documents, piecing together the last known location of the lens. The extraordinary odyssey of the Hatteras lens, and the fate of other lighthouse lenses are described in a book by Duffus titled “The Lost Light — A Civil War Mystery.”

Other adventures and consequent books and films include familiar titles, such as The Graveyard of the Atlantic — 400 Years of Shipwrecks, Mysteries and Heroic Rescues, a Telly Award winner, The Cape Hatteras Light—America’s Greatest Sentinel, winner of the gold Aurora Award, and Move of the Century, documenting the daunting relocation of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.

Duffus will challenge what you think you know about Black Beard the Pirate in this entertaining and promising presentation on October 20, 2015, at 11 AM in the Bladen Community College Student Resource Center.

This program is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Bladen Community College. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about the BCC Writers Series, contact Dr. Joyce Bahhouth at 910 879-5540.

Cathy Kinlaw is the public information director for Bladen Community College.