Smokies officials seek input on African American experience

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**ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND MARCH 19-20**This photo released by Great Smoky Mountains National Park shows the view Tuesday, March 15, 2005, from the Look Rock monitoring station in the southern end of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Townsend, Tenn. The viewing range this day is 85 miles _ making it among the best of […]

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are inviting the public to help with an effort to research the African American experience in southern Appalachia.

According to a news release, participants in open house events will have the opportunity to learn about the history of African Americans in the park and share their personal experiences or family stories.

The first discussion event takes place Aug. 1 at the Blount County Public Library in Maryville, Tennessee. A second event is scheduled for Aug. 5 at the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center in Waynesville, North Carolina. Both events start at 6 p.m.

Superintendent Cassius Cash said in the release, “We hope that even more people will see themselves included and connected to the Smokies through this effort.”

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