Home Lifestyle Women’s History Month: Daggs dedicated to learning in Richmond County

Women’s History Month: Daggs dedicated to learning in Richmond County

Photo of an article on Daggs' retirement published in the Aug. 17, 2007 edition of the Richmond County Daily Journal.
Contributed photo

Today we celebrate a leading lady, who made an enormous impact in Richmond County as an educator, active community member, and advocate for all, especially students and women. Naomi Daggs, the first African American hired as a full time English instructor at Richmond Community College served as the chairwoman of the college’s arts and sciences division and of the English department for 30 years until her retirement in 2007. 

A native of Washington, D.C., Daggs, along with her three children, relocated to Richmond County in the early 1970s after her cousin encouraged her to come for a year to regroup and make plans for the future in an area where rent was reasonable. Once here, her cousin persuaded her to enroll at what was then Richmond Technical Institute.

Daggs quickly caught the attention of her instructor, Clara Strickland, who used Daggs’ writings as examples of quality work and asked her to tutor other students. Daggs transferred to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in language and literature in 1975. She continued her education at North Carolina State University with a master’s degree in English.

Determined would be an understatement, as Daggs earned her degrees in a time where the traditional in-person setting was the only option. A single mother with a limited income, Daggs relied on the support of her family to help with the children as she rented a room in Raleigh to stay during the week and traveled by train back to Richmond County on the weekends. While attending NCSU, she was awarded a graduate teaching assistantship and tutored athletes for the Wolfpack Club. 

In addition to being an English instructor, leading the English department, and the arts and science division at RCC, Daggs also served as the chairwoman of the Developmental Studies Department, which provided courses to students who needed extra help in reading, math, and English, an advisor of the African-American Club, and on the board of directors of the Community Mentor Program, which was an affiliated effort of the college. 


Along with the many hats she wore at RCC, Daggs played an integral role in organizing the annual Miss Teen Pageant in the county, sponsored by the Hamlet branch of the National Association of University Women, of which she served as the president. She was also a member of A.M.E Zion Church and member of the North Carolina Community College Board. 

In 2004, Daggs was recognized by Scotland County dyslexic author Robert Currie, for the impact her care and dedication made on him as student in the dedication of his book “Uncle Tom’s Trailer”: “Her encouragement led me to attempt something seemingly unreachable that I had only dreamed of trying.” 

On April 12, 1991, Daggs experienced one of the most tragic losses of her life when her love of 18 years, Maceo McEachern, who was featured this year in our Black History series, was murdered. She wrote several tributes to McEachern and delivered a powerful statement to the U.S. District Court in Greensboro pleading with Judge William Osteen to impose the maximum sentence allowed by law on Barbara Caldwell for her part in the murders of McEachern and his mother, Vela. 

Join us today in celebrating this history-making leading lady for her dedication to advocacy, education, leadership, and service in education and in Richmond County!

Meghann Lambeth is executive director of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority. Republished from visitrichmondcounty.com. Throughout March, Visit Richmond County will feature a local leading lady in honor of Women’s History Month.


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