Junaluska: Oral Histories of a Black Appalachian Community

Shared Reading Selection
Academic Year: 
Junaluska: Oral Histories of a Black Appalachian Community
Edited by Susan E. Keefe with assistance from the Junaluska Heritage Foundation

Description from the publisher:

“Junaluska is one of the oldest African American communities in western North Carolina and one of the few surviving today. 

After Emancipation, many former slaves in Watauga County became sharecroppers, were allowed to clear land and to keep a portion, or bought property outright, all in the segregated neighborhood on the hill overlooking the town of Boone, North Carolina.

 Land and home ownership have been crucial to the survival of this community, whose residents are closely interconnected as extended families and neighbors. 

Missionized by white Krimmer Mennonites in the early twentieth century, their church is one of a handful of African American Mennonite Brethren churches in the United States. 

Susan Keefe has worked closely with members of the community in editing this book, which is based on three decades of participatory research. These life history narratives adapted from interviews with residents (born between 1885 and 1993) offer a people's history of the black experience in the southern mountains. 

Their stories provide a unique glimpse into the lives of African Americans in Appalachia during the 20th century--and a community determined to survive through the next."


Junaluska : Oral Histories of a Black Appalachian Community, edited by Susan E. Keefe, and Heritage Association, from the Junaluska, McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers, 2020. 




Walker College of Business Courageous Conversations:

The View from Junaluska: Perspectives from a Black Appalachian Community

Date: Wednesday, February 22

Time: 5-6 pm, reception and book signing to follow

Location: Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center

Website: www.business.appstate.edu/courageous

 Join us for a candid discussion on life and work in Boone with local residents of the Junaluska neighborhood, a historically Black community in the High Country. The multi-generational panel will bring together members whose career paths have included work at Appalachian State University. Inspired by the Common Reading book selection, Junaluska: Oral Histories of a Black Appalachian Community, all members of First Year Seminar as well as the broader community are welcome to attend.

Access the list of University Common Reading Program Events here.