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Slaves Memorial to Be Spotlighted at Martin Luther King Day Event in Wayne County

Lake Cumberland Slaves Memorial

A project to honor slaves buried in unmarked graves in the Lake Cumberland region will be highlighted at a community breakfast in Wayne County on Martin Luther King Day.

The first part of the three-phaseLake Cumberland Slaves Memorialproject is a sculpture to be erected at Somerset Community College. The project board of directors already has a drawing of the memorial designed by Ayokunle Odeleye, a sculptor and professor at Kenneshaw State University in Georgia.

Phillip Duncan is co-chair of the slaves memorial project and said an important step is expected in the near future.

“Well at this point we don’t see any reason why we can’t have the artist under contract this year.  Hopefully, that will take place here in February or March.”

Phase two is an educational component that will develop classroom materials about the history of slaves in the Lake Cumberland region. It will include information about the contribution slaves made to the area, especially in agriculture and railroad construction

The third phase will be a memorial garden at the site of the sculpture.

A member of the Lake Cumberland Slaves Memorial board, Delores Dalton, will present an overview of the project at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast in Wayne County. The Jan. 15 event is at 8:30 a.m. at the Aspire Center in Monticello. It is open to the public.

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