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Symposium Held in Honor of Black History Month

Cane River Creole National Historical Park

National Park News

Cane River Creole National Historical Park and The African American Experience Fund of the National Park Foundation presented ?Building on Tomorrow: A Symposium on African-American Culture in the South,? on  February 15th and 16th at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

This symposium was the third in a series discussing various aspects of the African-American experience, and was held in conjunction with the park?s celebration of Black History Month. 

Speakers covered a range of topics in African-American studies including:

  • Dr. Janis Hutchinson ? African-American oral remembrances in Natchitoches, Louisiana             
  • Tommy Whitehead ? Clementine Hunter, African-American folk artist
  • Rolonda Teal ? The Underground Railroad: Network to freedom
  • Dr. Susan Dollar ? The Freedman?s Bureau
  • Dr. Caryn Cosse Bell ? Louisiana?s Black Jacobins and Voodoo?s Marie Laveaus: Toward universalism in African-American culture
  • Phoenix Savage Wiseman ? ?People Without A History? in a small southern town

?It is through such workshops that people are able to exchange information and to begin to document the African-American story in the parish,? said speaker Rolonda Teal, program manager for the National Heritage Area Commission.

Cane River Creole National Historical Park is one of many sites in the National Park Service that celebrates African-American heritage. Cane River Creole National Historical Park consists of Oakland Plantation and the outbuildings of Magnolia Plantation. The magnificent landscape and historic structures provide an overarching view for understanding the context of everyday plantation life throughout the Cane River region. The park also reflects the stories of workers ? free and enslaved, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled ? whose labor and talents contributed to the successful growth of the United States. From coast to coast, north to south, the African-American influence can be found in diverse areas of, cultures, languages, religions, music, foodways, institutions, styles, literature and art.


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