Junaluska is a historically Black community in the southern Appalachian town of Boone, North Carolina. In 2020, we began a collaborative archaeology project with the community-based Junaluska Heritage Association to address two community concerns: (1) identifying unmarked graves at the Clarissa Hill Cemetery and (2) learning more about the nineteenth and early twentieth-century origins of Junaluska. Here we present our ongoing work on these heritage issues, including a survey of local residents, archaeological geophysics and excavation, and public outreach. We argue that community archaeology in Junaluska can be a model for collaborative heritage management and antiracist scholarship elsewhere in the US.
Building a Sustainable Community Archaeology in Black Appalachia: Notes from Junaluska, North Carolina
Cameron Gokee (PhD, University of Michigan, 2012) is an anthropological archaeologist whose research focuses on the interplay between marginalized communities and landscapes at multiple scales. He currently directs the Bandafassi Regional Archaeological Project (BRAP) in Senegal and collaborates on several projects on the archaeology of Indigenous and Black communities in southern Appalachia.
Alice P. Wright (PhD, University of Michigan, 2014) has directed archaeological research in North Carolina for over a decade. Her work primarily focuses on the Native American history of the Appalachian Summit and includes commitments to the region’s Indigenous communities and to local residents and land management agencies with the capacity to protect the archaeological record. As an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Appalachian State University, she has published and taught classes on historical landscapes, archaeological ethics, and community archaeology.
Kristen Baldwin Deathridge (PhD, Middle Tennessee State University, 2012) works with students at Appalachian State University and communities near Boone, North Carolina. She has worked with the Junaluska Heritage Association since 2014. An Associate Professor in the History Department, she supervises the graduate concentration in Historic Preservation and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public history, digital history, and history and film. Her research centers on community formation and re-formation in relation to the built environment.
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Cameron Gokee, Alice P. Wright, Kristen Baldwin Deathridge; Building a Sustainable Community Archaeology in Black Appalachia: Notes from Junaluska, North Carolina. The Public Historian 1 November 2022; 44 (4): 84–103. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2022.44.4.84
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