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Western North Carolina Tomorrow’s Black Oral History Project

Identifier: MSS 98-03

Scope and Contents

In an attempt to piece together the history of Black people in western North Carolina, Western North Carolina Tomorrow (WNCT) conducted an oral history project. WNCT is a group composed of representatives from the various communities throughout the region. Although the contribution of the unique culture and history of the Southern Appalachian people to America is well documented, the important contribution and historical experience of the southern Appalachian Black family is a largely unknown and unrecorded part of the heritage of the Southern Highlands.

Within this database are interviews, from 1986-1989, from African Americans who are rooted in the western part of North Carolina. WNCT engaged two Black interviewers who are natives to the region, and interviewed Black citizens ages 70 and over. Their interviews will touch on topics such as previous racial interactions that were positive and negative, Black churches, community leaders, serving during wars, being a part of segregated and later integrated schools, comparisons to the present day, and more. WNCT’s motives in the 1980s for this Black oral history project was that “All 80 volunteers share a commitment to the region and a willingness to work today to preserve our heritage and plan for a better tomorrow.” This project seeks to preserve and document the unique oral heritage and history of Black people from counties in western North Carolina, including Jackson, Swain, Haywood, Macon, Buncombe, and others.


  • 1986 - 1989

Conditions Governing Use

No publication fee is made for use of Western Carolina University Library special collections material in scholarly publications. The Library retains sole right to judge what constitutes a non-scholarly or commercial publication. Permission to publish commercially, in circumstances where the Library is qualified to grant it, requires proper authorization. Please contact Special Collections at for more information.


6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Online Materials

Audio and transcripts from this project are available online on Hunter Library Digital Collections.

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Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Hunter Library - Special Collections Repository

Cullowhee United States