Lift Every Voice!
The Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center is in the second phase of a project called Lift Every Voice! to collect the history of the black community in Haywood County .
During the first phase, panel discussion topics were education and on the two historic Pigeon Community churches – Mount Olive Baptist Church and Jones Temple AME Zion Church. The discussions were videotaped and featured members of Waynesville and Canton. PCMDC has also participated in videotaped Historical Society discussions.
The oral history part of this project began in 2014. From a list of the black families in the county, the project involves interviewing the oldest members and transcribing these interviews. Community partners helping to preserve these materials are the Haywood County Library and Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. Haywood is one of four counties in the western part of the state in which similar projects are underway to bring to public view the history, culture, and contributions of the African-Americans in our society.
The project released the book, “Lift Every Voice: African American History in Haywood County North Carolina, Volume 1: Honoring Our Elders.” A second edition of the volume, released in 2022, features even more photos and is now available.
You can support Lift Every Voice! by buying ($30) a copy of the book from PCMDC or Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. Contact PCMDC if you are interested in being interviewed or becoming an interviewer for this project.