Black in Appalachia, an initiative of East Tennessee PBS, explores the roots of African-American influence on the history and culture of Appalachia through documentaries, research, local narratives, public engagement and exhibition. The project aims to raise the visibility and contributions of the Black communities of the Mountain South.
In partnership with the Kingsport City Archives & the Kingsport Friends of the Archives, the Kingsport Community History Project worked with the Black communities of Sullivan & Hawkins Counties of Tennessee and Scott County, Virginia to document this important history of the community, make it accessible, and share it with a broader area.
With the help of a Humanities Tennessee Opportunity Grant, one major result of this project has been a series of carefully curated mobile Black history displays for use in public spaces. Much of the material collected comes from residents & churches through Community History Days hosted at V.O. Dobbins Community Center. This project began in November 2018 and will continue into the future, collecting both scans and oral histories from the Appalachian area.
The traveling exhibit will be on display at the Renaissance Center Atrium Gallery beginning Friday, August 28 through November 21. The Renaissance Center is located at 1200 E. Center Street, and the Atrium Gallery is located on the second floor. Visitors are asked to enter using the back doors, to wear a mask, and to follow social distancing guidelines.
For more information about the Black in Appalachia project, please contact the Kingsport City Archives at 423-224-2559.