KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is holding three town hall events focusing on African American history within and around the park. The park says that while African Americans have lived in the region since at least the early 16th century the knowledge of their presence is relatively low.
“In the heart of these mountains, you can find an African American doctor who served his community for 40 years, Job Corpsmen who continued the legacy of the CCC by building roads and trails that we enjoy today, and sacred burial grounds that date back to the 1860s,” said Science Communicator Antoine Fletcher. “Better understanding this unique African American experience helps us better share the full history of the Appalachian mountains.”
Each program will last 30 minutes and include a discussion on current research and upcoming projects. This is all a part of the park’s effort to better understand the untold history of the African American experience in southern Appalachia.
The virtual town hall events will be hosted by the following universities:
- September 16 at 7:00 p.m. – Ashville-Buncombe Technical Community College
- October 14 – Western North Carolina University
- October 22 – The University of North Carolina-Asheville
The Friends of the Smokies and Great Smoky Mountains Association are supporting this research. For information on how to be involved, contact Science Communicator Antoine Fletcher at Antoine_Fletcher@nps.gov.