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from 1906 to 1941.

The BRAG Dream Team (Atlanta, GA) will supervise and conduct youth related bicycle training and educational clinics. The Metro Atlanta Cycling Club (MACC) will provide ride marshal supervision for the ride. The recreational route will take riders through the Town of Hobson City, and pause to hear brief descriptions of significant historic sites.

The First Annual Hobson City Heritage Bicycle Ride commemorates the legacy of these and other Blacks in bicycling, athletics, public recreation, environmental stewardship, and community building.

Hobson City, Calhoun County, Alabama was incorporated in 1899, and is the oldest Black municipality in the state of Alabama.  The 17 acre J.R. Striplin Park was platted at the same time the town was incorporated, making it one of the oldest African American public parks in continuous use in America at 116 years.

Contact the Town of Hobson City (256-831-4940 ) for registration and program details.

 

 

 

“Zora’s Lakes Links” silver necklace by Ellen P. Hunt
“Zora’s Lakes Links” silver necklace by Ellen P. Hunt

Ellen has used her jewelry design talent and fabrication skills to create a sterling silver necklace inspired by the lakes in Eatonville, Florida, the home of Zora Neale Hurston.  The design is named “Zora’s Lakes Links.”  Ellen’s inspiration for this piece comes from a first hand visit to Eatonville and the map in the background of the photograph.  The background image is actually part of a 1914 Orange County survey map.  The U.S. Federal Census Bureau used the map to record population enumeration districts. Everett found the map while researching in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  When Ellen began to develop her concept for the necklace Everett shared the map with her since it included the cartographic representations of Eatonville’s cultural and natural land features, including the surrounding lakes.  The handmade necklace may be ordered directly from Ellen through Hunt Design Jewelry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayors (l-r) Johnny Ford, Alberta McCrory, Barbara Mallett, Bobbie Jones, Darryl Johnson, Ed Jones, Anthony Grant
Mayors (l-r) Johnny Ford, Alberta McCrory, Barbara Mallett, Bobbie Jones, Darryl Johnson, Ed Jones, Anthony Grant

 

HBTSA – 9: Black Towns & Settlements Workshop

Everett L. Fly and Ellen P. Hunt (Fly/Hunt) have applied their planning expertise to facilitate partnering discussions between eight historic southern Black towns from five states and scholars and experts from seven institutions in seven states.  The process began in April of 2014 as a consultation to the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, Inc.: Tuskegee, Alabama; Hobson City, Alabama; Eatonville, Florida; Grambling, Louisiana; Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

One of the goals of the consultation was to identify opportunities for exposure of cultural resources and assistance for the towns individually, and collectively.  Early in the process, Dr. Bill Ferris, Ph.D., former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Senior Associate Director of the Center for the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), expressed interest in the project. Working with mayors and residents of the respective towns, Dr. Ferris, Dr. Kenneth R. Janken, Ph.D. (Interim Director of the Center for the American South), Dr. Mark Little, Ph.D. (Interim Executive Director of the Institute of Private Enterprise) and other UNC faculty, Fly/Hunt were able to match issues and expertise for discussion.

(l-r) Mayor Johnny Ford, Tuskegee, AL; Dr. Bill Ferris, UNC Center for the Study of the American South; Dr. Terry Rhodes, UNC Sr. Assoc. Dean for Fine Arts & Humanities; Dr. Kenneth R. Janken, Interim Director UNC Center for the Study of the American South; Dr. Mark Little, UNC Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise
(l-r) Mayor Johnny Ford, Tuskegee, AL; Dr. Bill Ferris, UNC Center for the Study of the American South; Dr. Terry Rhodes, UNC Sr. Assoc. Dean for Fine Arts & Humanities; Dr. Kenneth R. Janken, Interim Director UNC Center for the Study of the American South; Dr. Mark Little, UNC Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise

A two day workshop was conducted for invited participants at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on April 6 – 7, 2015.  The workshop addressed a range of strategic topics, including land use law, civil rights, economic cultural tourism, community health, cultural food ways, entrepreneurship, archival preservation, and physical historic preservation.

Mayors and delegations from eight historic southern Black towns participated in the intensive two day sessions:

Tuskegee, Alabama / Mayor Johnny Ford

Hobson City, Alabama / Mayor Alberta McCrory

Eatonville, Florida / Mayor Anthony Grant

Grambling, Louisiana / Mayor Ed Jones

Mound Bayou, Mississippi / Mayor Darryl Johnson

East Spencer, North Carolina / Mayor Barbara Mallett

Dr. Bryan Giemza, UNC Director of Southern History Collection, discusses archival preservation
Dr. Bryan Giemza, UNC Director of Southern History Collection, discusses archival preservation

Navassa, North Carolina / Mayor Eulis Willis

Princeville, North Carolina / Mayor Bobbie Jones

Institutions included the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; North Carolina State University; Morehouse School of Medicine / Atlanta, Georgia; the University of Alabama / Tuscaloosa; the University of Wisconsin / Madison;  Delta State University / Mississippi; the University of Central Florida / Orlando; and Trinity University / San Antonio, Texas.

 

Fly/Hunt were able to produce a successful application for a National Trust for Historic Preservation Innovation Grant to assist the project.   As a result of the workshop the mayors have agreed to negotiate a partnership with UNC that will provide extended opportunities for student summer field research, community training in preservation stewardship, archival preservation of rare and historic documents, and assistance with cultural tourism program and economic development.  All of the communities pledged to meet again at UNC in approximately twelve months.

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