The Thomas Day Education Project (TDEP) was established by Laurel and Charles Sneed to address the lack of educational media and materials on African-American historical subjects in the public schools in NC.
Research conducted by Laurel Sneed and Christine Westfall discovered Thomas Day’s origins in southern Virginia and identified his parents and brother. The lead scholar/advisor of this research was Dr. John Hope Franklin (1915-2009), eminent historian of the African-American experience and at the time a professor of history at Duke University. Dr. Franklin mentored Laurel Sneed while advising the Thomas Day origins research project and made her aware that TDEP was urgently needed to address the widespread lack of knowledge among Americans of the experience of slavery and the role race has played in our nation’s history. (See: Sneed, Laurel C. and Christine Westfall, “Uncovering the Hidden History of Thomas Day: Findings and Methodology, a Report to the North Carolina Humanities Council,” Durham, NC: Thomas Day Education Project, 1995).