Princeville, North Carolina, was established in 1865.
The oldest Black-chartered town in America, Princeville, N.C., is seeking solutions to its ongoing flooding issues. Princeville has endured nine natural disasters, including hurricanes and floods, since its establishment in 1865.
“They say: ‘This is who we are. This is sacred ground. Our forefathers shed blood, sweat and tears here,’” said Princeville Mayor Bobbie Jones.
The meeting left citizens feeling helpless, especially as the town’s history evoked pride for the Black community, initially drawing citizens in due to its freedoms as a Black-chartered town. Unfortunately, weather has left the town riddled with constant reconstruction, and an ongoing threat to resident’s homes and businesses.
However, Princeville’s resilience has inspired its extended community, with workshops spearheaded by state educators and architects, as well as North Carolina State University Coastal Dynamics Design Lab to innovate the town’s ability to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Despite the halt on the levee’s extension, the community has the support of groups to continue protecting its legacy while also possibly building beyond. Princeville’s last hope lies within the 88 acres of land granted to them outside the floodplain, all part of the mission to keep the town alive and its citizens safe.
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Source: Black Enterprise