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City of Lexington identifying, celebrating African American hamlets

The City of Lexington purchased a portion of Cadentown, a historic African American hamlet, in 2003 for $136,000.
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City of Lexington
The City of Lexington purchased a portion of Cadentown, a historic African American hamlet, in 2003 for $136,000.

The City of Lexington is working to identify and celebrate African American communities established in the 19th century, many by freed slaves. So far, 20 hamlets have been identified, one of which is Cadentown, which the city purchased a portion of in 2003 for $136,000. Tiffany Brown is Lexington’s equity officer; she said city leaders are getting plenty of help.

“There’s been so many people who have been involved in, have been meeting to kind of form a steering committee to develop this project called ‘A Sense of Place: Remembering and Celebrating the history of Fayette County's Rural Black Hamlets.’”

Brown said the project is about often forgotten people – and the lives they built in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil War.

“Land ownership is symbolic of their freedom. And so them being able to purchase this property just goes to show their perseverance and the persistence that they’ve had to have over many generations.”

The city’s public-private partnership drive will officially kick off Juneteenth.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.