Such recreational activities as marbles, cards, dancing, swimming, and fishing enabled slaves in North Carolina to mitigate the difficulties and harshness of their lives in ways that were neither violent nor competitive.
Colonial North Carolina's scattered rural population played games that were individualized or for small groups; among these were marbles, dolls, whittling, leapfrog, cards, hide-and-seek, and hopscotch.
By the end of the Civil War, over 331,000 slaves had been freed statewide. Although they were free, life for former slaves was not easy. Opportunities were limited, and in the years following emancipation, progress was slow.
Begun in 1785 with 167 skilled and unskilled slaves, Somerset Place in Washington County was a prosperous plantation by 1790. Slaves' descendants continued the work until the end of the Civil War in 1865.
Slavery in the state's mountains differed from that supported by the cash-crop economy of the east. In the west, slave owners were mostly professional men who used the slaves in their businesses or hired them out to others.
When WBT in Charlotte, the state's first commercial radio station, began broadcasting in April, 1922, people's horizons expanded to encompass national and international events and a variety of entertainment.
The marketing of the state's scenic and historic areas and man-made attractions, like museums and aquariums, has made tourism a major business in North Carolina. Over 250,000 people are employed in travel-related businesses.
In an age of mass-production technology, traditional craftsmen continue to practice their art across the state. They learn their skills from more experienced craftspersons or from schools, like the Penland School of Crafts.
With the establishment of the North Carolina Film Office in 1980 and the creation of lighter moviemaking equipment, filmmaking in the state began to increase in places like Wilmington, Charlotte, and High Point.