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Mayor McCrory Clip 1

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Mayor McCrory Clip 1


Courtesy CDA Project, UNC Libraries. This item is under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)






Oral History



Kimber Heinz


Mayor McCrory


Back in 2014, we organized a group of five historically Black towns. Our mayors got together and organized a group called Historic Black Towns & Settlements Alliance, and we organized that group because we recognized that we all had a lot in common. A lot of our cities’ existence were threatened, and so much so that in 2009, the town of Hobson City was placed on the Alabama Historical... not the Historical Commission, but the Alabama... yeah, the Alabama Historical Commission’s Ten Places in Peril because the city was going through a lot of financial problems and so forth. One being that we have always, historically, been overlooked.

We felt a need to really get proactive and try to preserve all that we could about our history, about our respective communities. And so that's what we set out to do with the help of a gentleman by the name of Everett Fly, who knew of the affairs and his work up at UNC. So, he was able to contact UNC, and they were able to set up a meeting for us to come there for some of the developmental training and so forth, and to help our organization with what we wanted to do. So, that was the start of that, with our relationship with the University of North Carolina. We were invited there a couple of times, and so, one of the things that we knew that we wanted to do, as a result of being placed on that 10 Places in Peril, was to try to preserve all of our historical information that we had access to and to have some control over that here on the local level.

So, we started asking for that help with getting the information that we have documented and archived and creating a space for that to take place. We're not just doing a room for archives, but we’re also establishing a historical room that has, well, it's designed to tell the story of the people, not only in Hobson City and how they survived during the Jim Crow Era being established in 1899, some 30-something years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

And this is a city that has... South of us, there is a hanging museum that tells the story of the hangings that took place throughout Alabama and other states. To the west of us, we have the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham, and also to the east of us, we have the Civil Rights Museum in Atlanta and the King Center. And so, we felt like the day-to-day story of the everyday people, that those stories needed to be told because they are the people who really keep the community going. The story of our schools, our churches, our families, and the things that they did to create a life for themselves, in spite of all of the hate that was directed towards them, in spite of all of the discrimination and being denied access to an education, to jobs, to housing. All of those disparities that we suffered and the people during that time. So, we want to be able to tell that story from our perspective and be able to share that not only with the people, have the people in the community to share what they know, but to create a space for that story to be told over and over again.

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