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The Save Sewanee Black History Project endeavors to work with residents of the town’s African American neighborhood and their descendants as well as recent generations of Black and Brown graduates of the University to recover, preserve, and publicly share the 160-plus-year record of the Black and Brown people who lived, worked, and studied in this university community.

This initiative launched in the spring of 2019 when, with the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Roberson Project collaborated with local Black residents in planning a series of “history harvests” or “archiving fairs” at the St. Mark’s Community Center on Alabama Avenue in Sewanee. We invited anyone with roots or connections to Sewanee’s Black community to join us for a day of sharing photographs to be scanned, building a community memory map, and recording oral histories. Fairs were held in May (Memorial Day) and July 2019, and again in September 2021. The fruits of these harvests – photographs and other records, video and audio recordings – are now accessible through the links on this page.

To explore more than 200 photographs and other items related to Black life in Sewanee, select Browse Items or Family Collections to see more.

To listen to oral histories describing the lives and experiences of Sewanee’s Black residents from the 1940s to the present, follow this link.