Fifth Union Report

Fifth Union Gathering

Fifth Union, June 17-19, 2004 – Kingsport, Tennessee

The Melungeon Heritage Association and the Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau were proud to sponsor Fifth Union, the Melungeon Gathering, which will be held Thursday through Saturday, June 17-19, at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Our program featured several respected Melungeon researchers and authors, as well as presentations which put the Melungeon story into context. We were delighted to welcome one of the pioneer researchers of tri-racial communities, Calvin L. Beale, as well as other noted Melungeon authors and researchers, including Brent Kennedy, Darlene Wilson, Wayne Winkler, Elizabeth Hirschmann, and Mattie Ruth Johnson, among others (see schedule below).

We also presented a reading of the play Walk Toward the Sunset, Kermit Hunter’s Melungeon drama which ran in Sneedville from 1969 to 1976.

10:00 am – Welcome
10:30 am – Betty Perry: The Hancock County Jail: Providing An Education, Past and Present
11:30 am – Frank Sweet: Americans Are More “Racially” Mixed Than They Imagine
12: 30 pm – Mattie Ruth Johnson: My Melungeon Heritage
1:00 pm – Wayne Winkler: Who Are the Melungeons?
1:30 pm – Joseph Scolnick & Brent Kennedy: authors of From Anatolia to Appalachia
1:30 pm – Mattie Ruth Johnson book Signing
2:00 pm – Kathy Lyday-Lee: Will Allen Dromgoole
2:30 pm – James Nickens: Strangers in the Indian Nations
3:00 pm – W. C. Collins & DruAnna Overbay: Exhibit: Windows on the Past
3:30 pm – Kayaalp Buyukataman and Tolunay Kolankaya Buyukataman: Early Turkish Settlers in America
4:00 pm – Dr. Kevin Jones: Melungeon DNA Study
5:30 pm – Claude Collins, John Lee Welton, Katherine Vande Brake: PANEL: The Melungeon outdoor drama Walk Toward the Sunset

10:30 am – Dr. Marie Boutte: Machado-Joseph Disease
11:00 am – Calvin Beale: Researching Tri-racial Communities
12:00 pm – Brent Kennedy: The Melungeons: Ties That Bind
12:30 pm – Katherine Vande Brake: Melungeon Characters in Fiction
1:00 pm – Anthony Cavender: Appalachian Folk Medicine
1:30 pm – A. D. Powell: White Identity, the One Drop Myth and the Mixed-Race Experience.
2:00 pm – Scott Withrow: Melungeon/ Redbone Settlements in Carolina
2:00 pm – Rehearsal: Walk Toward the Sunset, Act One
3:00 pm – Gwendolyn Higdon: Hypothetical Analogy of the Cradle of the Melungeons
4:00 pm – James Nickens: Melungeon Genesis II
4:30 pm – Frank Sweet: 19th Century Songs and Stories
5:30 pm – reading of Walk Toward the Sunset, Act One

10:00 am – Opening – Rep. Rick Boucher (9th District, VA)
10:15 am – SJ Arthur: Melungeon Heritage Association and Awards
10:30 am – J. David Smith: The Eugenic Movement in America
11:30 am – Scott Withrow: The Perkins Family in the Carolina-Tennessee Backcountry
12 noon – Darlene Wilson: “Colored/White”: Transcending Appalachian History
12:30 pm – Elizabeth Hirschmann: Tracing Sephardic Connections
1:00 pm – Katie Doman: Vardy Oral History Project
2:00 pm – Jerry Warsing: The East Asian Factor
2:00 pm – Rehearsal: Walk Toward the Sunset, Act Two
2:30 pm – VCHS Board Members: Steps in Forming a Historical Society
3:30 pm – Franklin Keel: Bureau of Indian Affairs
4:30 pm – Dr. Chris Morris: Familial Mediterranean Fever
5:00 pm – Katie Doman: Traditional Mountain Music
5:30 pm – reading of Walk Toward the Sunset, Act Two

Several organizations assisted Melungeon Heritage Association with Fifth Union, and you will find more information on these organizations at these links.

FIFTH UNION:Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau

Vardy Community Historical Society

Hancock County Historical and Genealogical Society

Fort Henry Mall

WETS-FM, Public Radio 89.5

East Tennessee State University

King College (link currently not working)

University of Virginia’s College at Wise

The Coalfield Progress