The Association provides platform for People of Color to share their Eno family history
The Eno River Association announces the revival of their Eno Journal, now available for purchase online and thru local retail shops. Ribbons of Color Along the Eno River: The History of African Americans and People of Color Living on the Eno contains first- and second-hand stories of those who have long lived in the Eno watershed.
This Eno Journal is the culmination of a two decades-long effort by the Association to discover, research, recruit writers, and publish this collection. “We are grateful to the descendants, record keepers, and historians in the Eno River community who preserved these memories and photographs” says Dave Cook, former Eno staffer and veteran volunteer on the project.
Journals have been published by the Eno River Association intermittently since 1973 but have been dormant since 2000. Topics of past journals include Mills on the Eno, Snakes, Rafting, Picnics and Politics, Water Quality, Trees, the Early Quakers, Margaret Nygard, and The Little River.
Music, War, Baptism, Indigenous Beadwork, and local historical figure Fannie Breeze are just a few of the themes of the stories included in Ribbons of Color. The journal’s articles are gathered from interviews, first-person narratives, and family lore of a dozen authors ranging from members of the Saponi Nation, historians, and others including notably Dr. Freddie Parker, Charlene Whitted Campbell, Alexandra Sutton Lawrence, Kris Mayfield, and Beverly A. Scarlett.
“In honor of Black History Month, the Association humbly uplifts these 17 stories from within our watershed history, some previously untold. Many of these voices are from marginalized groups or those overlooked by historical records which are predominantly recorded based on whiteness and wealth” reports Eno Executive Director Jessica Sheffield.
For more than 55 years the Eno River Association has worked to conserve and protect the natural, historical, and cultural resources of the river basin. Since the 1970s, the Association has published journals, calendars, and articles exploring and promoting the Eno’s historic roads, mills, communities, and food ways. The Association’s special events and educational program include guided & interpreted hikes, youth education programs, and the Festival for the Eno.
“To truly live our mission, we must work to overcome the injustices that have been wrought on Eno’s Black and Indigenous communities. Too often conservation work overlooks the needs of communities of color, and creates unequal access to nature. The publication of Ribbons of Color and its subsequent volumes is one step in the direction of righting this wrong. We hope the Eno Journal platform will be used for years to come, for countless more family histories to be shared” states Sheffield.