Virtual town hall events explore African American history in the Smokies

Press release from Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to three town hall events this fall hosted by Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, University of North Carolina Asheville, and Western Carolina University concerning the history of African Americans within and around the park.  
“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.”  
Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the history of African Americans in the park by attending a 30-minute program. Facilitators will then lead an open discussion about current research and upcoming projects. While African Americans have been in the Great Smoky Mountains region since at least the early 16th century, knowledge of their presence is relatively low. The park is conducting this research 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 (time to be determined) – Western North Carolina University  
  • October 22 (time to be determined) – The University of North Carolina-Asheville  
For more information and registration, please visit This research is supported by Friends of the Smokies and Great Smoky Mountains Association. For more information on how you can be involved, please contact Science Communicator Antoine Fletcher at 
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