For almost 100 years, the events of Oct. 30, 1919 during which 200 African-American residents were rounded up and forced out of Corbin have lead to the city’s reputation as a place where people of color are unwelcome. These events have been the subject or rumor and speculation.
The Sunup Initiative is hosting an event beginning at 7 p.m. tonight at the Second and Main Event Center where documents detailing that night will be on display for the public to read for itself.
“This is about letting the history speak for itself,” said Grace Moses, a member of the Sunup Initiative.
The display includes newspaper articles, testimonies of witnesses from the court trial of mob leader Steve “Pistol Pete” Rogers, who was convicted of confederating, and the proclamation approved by the City Commission declaring Corbin to be, “a welcoming community.”
Along with the documents, members of the Sunup Initiative will be on hand to speak with guest and answer any questions they may have.
Candles will be available to anyone who would like to go out to the depot area for a moment of remembrance.
“This is not intended to be a social event, but more of an opportunity for people to focus and look at the exhibit,” Moses said.
Prior to the Second and Main event, members of the Sunup Initiative will join others at 6:30 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church for a candlelight vigil to commemorate the event.
The documents will remain on display at Second and Main through Friday.
Moses and other members of the Sunup Initiative have emphasized that their efforts are not about reopening old wounds, but to allow Corbin to move forward from the darkest point in its history.
As part of that, they are working to schedule additional events.
“We want to have another community conversation,” Moses said.
More information about the Sunup Initiative is available on the group’s Facebook page.