African American Heritage Tour App

The National Park Service along with eight other partners unveiled the African American Heritage Tour today at Stratton Elementary.
The National Park Service feels this tour is a way to tell a part of history that may get overlooked here in the New River Gorge area.
National Park Service District Supervisor, Dave Bieri, said “Another thing the National Park Service really does is preserve our history, and try to tell the history of our Nation. The African American Story here is one that we felt we were not telling.”
Alumni from years past made their way back to Stratton to celebrate memories of the past, but also to look forward and teach lessons learned.
Clifford Washington, a 1967 Stratton Graduate, talks about a lesson he thinks people can learn today: “We were a community and when we went to school we supported one another in everything that someone did. Events that we had at the school, it was not only a school event, the whole community came out and supported it.”
The community that was a part of Stratton High School can be seen and shared today through the African American Heritage Tour Phone App.
Dave said “You can download the App from our website, the National Park Service website for New River Gorge National River, and download it to your smartphone and you can drive to the sites. Each site has about a 5 or 6-minute narration that you will listen to.”
The App is a way to blend the past with the present and to tell the history of African Americans around the New River Gorge area in a way that speaks to the generations of today.

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Jonathan Chance grew up in Birmingham, AL where he experienced many different types of weather. The storm that is remembered more than any other is the 2011 Super Outbreak. The tornadoes passed within 20 miles of his home and affected the lives of many people around him.