African American Stories

A story is an account or recital of an event or a series of events, either true or fictitious. The African American story fits well into this definition. Their story educates people about the hardships of enslavement, the courage to fight for their freedom during the Civil War, and the communities they built throughout the region after Emancipation. The African American Experiences in the Smokies project believes that these stories bring visibility to African Americans in Appalachia and helps tell the unique story of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • The Turner Family

    The Turner Family

    The Turners are one of the earliest recorded African American families in the Smokies.

  • The Blackalachian

    The Blackalachian

    Daniel has vivid memories of his time treading through Charlie's Bunion and Clingman's Dome during his 2017 Appalachian Trail journey.

  •  Ann Miller Woodford

    Ann Miller Woodford

    Ann Miller Woodford is one of the leading pioneers of African American art in Western North Carolina.

  • Martha Anne Ricks

    Martha Anne Ricks

    How did a woman born into slavery in Appalachia meet Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle in 1892?"

  • The Mingus Family

    The Mingus Family

    Three generations of Minguses called these mountains home. Read about a jazz musician, a buffalo soldier, and more.

  •  Segregation at the Smokies

    Segregation at the Smokies

    Learn the story of segregation in the Smokies.

  • Cowee West’s Mill Community

    Cowee West’s Mill Community

    Learn more about one of the largest African American communities west of the Balsam mountains in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

  • Three African American men are standing holding instruments - a tuba, guitar, and fiddle with a bow

    African American Appalachian Music

    Take a journey through Appalachia to learn about the history of African American music and its connection to Africa.

Last updated: March 21, 2023

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