Editor’s Note: The Leaf-Chronicle featured pioneers, intellectuals, activists and local heroes in February during Black History Month. The final story in our series features an in-depth look at the Clarksville-Montgomery County African American Legacy Trail. This story serves as a supplement to this article.
The duo behind the Clarksville-Montgomery County African American Heritage Trail are looking to the southern part of the county as they look to add more stops to the trail in the near future.
Founder Shana Thorton and historian/co-author Jerome Parchman consider the path a “living document” of the community’s black history, calling it a journey down the path of black history that explores the region’s deep-rooted and historical connections.
They have added 25 destinations to the trail since its inception in February 2019. All stops feature historic blacks and locations throughout the county.
Some of the newer trail locations include a marker for the town of Africana in Dunbar Cave State Park and the CSM Sidney Brown Park on Burch Street.
“We chose the current locations that are now listed in the (trail) brochure because they are special to Black history and/or they relate to a leader in the legacy of the Clarksville Black History,” Thorton said. “The current brochure honors Black leaders in Clarksville history who have had a national and/or international impact in their chosen fields.”
An updated print brochure, with several new trail additions, is tentatively expected to be released in the 2023-24 school year, Thorton said.
“It’s a big overhaul, so it’s going to take time,” she explained.
Thorton and Parchman want to include more local artists and leaders in the review. The plan is to include black history in more parts of Montgomery County by expanding the trail to the Southside and Palmyra areas.
Here are some of the additions the community should look forward to:
- Artist Marvin Posey, Jr.
- Billiard player James Evans
- Edgefield Missionary Baptist Church
- American Colored Troops Monument at Fort Defiance
- Educator Hattie Walker Wilhoite, the first African-American woman to graduate from Austin Peay State University
Alexis Clark can be reached at [email protected] or 931-217-8519.