Sounds of the Past: Audio Clips About Historic Black Towns & Settlements


Photo caption: Early members of the Eatonville, FL city council.

In April 2015, the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance (HBTSA) held a meeting at UNC. HBTSA’s missions is “to protect and preserve for future generations the heritage, history and cultural traditions of Alliance members such that those who follow will have the ability to assume active stewardship, to understand, interpret and appreciate these historic places through the lenses of their inhabitants.” Together, the Alliance’s members “promote economic development and…an enhanced quality of life” for those who live and visit them. For more information on the HBTSA see here: Their 2015 gathering brought together mayors and city staff from Hobson City, Ala.; Tuskegee, Alabama; Eatonville, Fla.; Grambling, La.; and Mound Bayou, Miss, as well as UNC scholars interested in supporting these unique communities. Since 2015, the HBTSA’s membership has grown to eight. For more on the 2015 gathering, see here:

For the occasion of the 2015 meeting, staff of the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) prepared a playlist of oral history interviews from the archives, available here:

These audio excerpts include discussion about or related to the five towns in the HBTSA, as well as about other black mayors throughout the American South, civil rights, public health, education, politics, communities, and African American life. To search the SOHP oral history archive:








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