More to the Story: Historical Narratives and the African American Past in Maury County, Tennessee

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Abdallah, Jaryn Elizabeth
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Middle Tennessee State University
Local white residents have traditionally controlled historical production in Maury County, Tennessee. Using historical publications and the memorial landscape, these local historians have produced historical narratives that often privileges white experiences and views, while excluding those of African Americans. By excluding African Americans from these narratives, many local historians imply that African Americans have not played a vital role in the history and development of Maury County.
In 2012, a group of local residents, led by Jo Ann McClellan, formed the African American Heritage Society of Maury County, Tennessee (AAHSMC), with the goal of preserving the history of local African Americans. These preservation efforts inherently challenge the implication that African American history is not vital to a fuller understanding of the history of Maury County. The AAHSMC has been very successful in preserving this history, with the ultimate goal of creating a narrative of Maury County's history that fully recognizes the experiences of African Americans. The organization's ongoing efforts serve as a valuable case study for anyone who is interested in the preservation of African American history, and the creation of historical narratives that are inclusive of this history. 
Black history, Community history, Interpretation, Local history