Junaluska and the Wider Community
In the heart of downtown Boone, the Junaluska Heritage Association enjoys local collaborative relationships with Appalachian State Univsity professors and students, as well as the Boone Historic Preservation Committee.
In March of 2013, the Junaluska Heritage Association presented as a part of the Appalachian Studiess Association annual conference at Appalachian State University. Dr. Susan Keefe of ASU, and Junaluska residents Roberta Jackson, Lynn Patterson, Carolyn Grimes, and Sandra Hagler all served on a panel called "The Junaluska Heritage Association: A Black Appalachian Community Studies its History."
During Dr. Andrea Burns’ Introduction to Public History course at ASU in the Fall of 2014, students created an exhibit called “Finding Junaluska: Exploring Boone’s African American Heritage.” The exhibit was unveiled on December 10th at the Anne Belk Library and stayed up until April of 2015.
Dr. Burns’ Intro to Public History class also worked to create a permanent historypin.org exhibits on the Junaluska community, with the additional help of Dr. Deathridge’s Digital History class.
Dr. Tom Whyte, of the Appalachian State University Anthropology department made three presentations about his research on the old Jordan Councill Cemetery in Boone. Two of these were given for the public at the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church, and the last was presented to the Boone Historic Preservation Commission, to pursue further community protection and research about the Jordan Councill Cemetery.
The Junaluska Heritage Association has also been involved with the two local libraries over the years. The Anne Belk Library on Appalachian State University's Campus, as well as the Watauga County Library, have been a part of the JHA's mission to spread community awareness.
In 2013, the JHA funded the purchase of new books. Two were chosen for the Watauga County Library (WCL), and two for Anne Belk Library. They included:
- “Black Genesis: A Resource Book for African-American Geneaology” by Charles L. Blockson
- “Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide” by David T. Thackery
- “Slave Geneaology: A Research Guide with Case Studies”
JHA also purchased each of the books for establishing own library in basement of Boone Mennonite Brethren Church. An article about the gifts can be found here.
On February 8, 2014, JHA co-sponsored an author reading and book signing with the Watauga County Library to recognize Black History Month and the 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Legislation THis event was held at ASU’s Belk Library.
In April of 2015, the Mu Upsilon chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated hosted a forum with Junaluska community members to raise awareness and visibility.
Aaron Pardue, an Appalachian Studies grad student, created a 16-minute DVD presentation about Junaluska and its history, which has been given to JHA for civic club presentation and use in public information.
As an outreach program at Appalachian State University, Appalachian and the Community Together works with the local and global community for skill and relationship building opportunities. In conjunction with the Junaluska History Association, ACT has been working on the Junaluska History Project.
According to their site, the Junaluska History Project:
"...is engaged in uncovering the heritage and history of Junaluska, Watauga County's only African-American community."
You can learn more about the ACT program here.