Photographs by Holly Rainey
The African-American communities of Cocke County, Tennessee historically host bi-annual 8th of August celebrations, called “The Tennessee Picnic”. The Tennessee Picnic was organized after World War II as a way for those who had moved elsewhere in search of better jobs and educational opportunities, to enjoy a community-wide reunion, the Tennessee Picnic has evolved over the decades into a celebration of arts, music, food, and other activities.
In 2017, Black in Appalachia, in partnership with the Tennessee Picnic Association, conducted a dialog with community members about their recollections, reflections and hopes for the future of these gatherings.
Cocke County, Tennessee Census Records
"Cocke County Heritage Development Report. A Legacy to Be Preserved and Celebrated: African American Heritage Resources in Cocke County, Tennessee." The Center for Historic Preservation, Middle Tennessee State University. December 2008.