Visitors from Capitol City

Black Family Heritage Conference brings guests to Maryville

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The Eleventh Annual Black Family Heritage Conference brought members of the African American Genealogical and Historical Society of Nashville to Blount County in early February.

The tour was sponsored by African-Americans of Appalachia and Blount County and highlighted places and people in Blount County that dealt with African-American heritage and culture.

The group members toured Craig’s Chapel in Greenback, saw the Old Stone House, and learned about Friendsville’ contribution to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.

George Washington Carver School and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church were on the tour, and the group visited the graves of William B. Scott and Oscar Wilson.

Maryville Vice Mayor Tom Taylor greeted the group at the Maryville Municipal Building for a tour and to present them with the key to the city. While there, they saw a portion of the Fences exhibit.

Group founder Tommie Morton-Young, PhD, is a historian and author. The group members take trips to various counties in Tennessee. They call their adventures "Traveling Freedom’s Roads." They had visited six or seven counties over the past decade before coming to Blount County.

According to group information, the group was founded in 1994 by and for Tennesseans of African heritage. Group members have sought to make an impression on the community and across the state as they search out, identify and explore the "Black Experience and Legacy in Tennessee."

Darrell Watkins was on hand and captured these images.

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