Lift Every Voice! Pigeon Center African-American History Project
The Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center is in the second phase of a project to collect the history of the black community in Haywood County.
During the first phase, panel discussions were held on education and on the two historic Pigeon St. churches, Mt. Olive and Jones Temple AME Zion. These discussions, featuring members of the community from both Waynesville and Canton, were videotaped. The Center has also participated in videotaped Historical Society discussions.
The oral history part of this project, Lift Every Voice!, was begun in 2014. From a list of the black families in the county, we are interviewing the oldest members. The interviews will be transcribed. The center is partnering with the county library as well as the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University in preserving these materials.
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 has released a book, “Lift Every Voice: Vol. 1, ‘Honoring Our Elders.’”
How to help: Buy the book, which costs $25 at the center, and is available at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville and City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Contact the center if interested in being interviewed or becoming an interviewer