(WBRE/WYOU-TV) A Scranton woman has turned a school research project into something much bigger.
As Reporter Eric Deabill shows us piece by piece the 25-year-old is unearthing the Hidden History of African Americans in the city of Scranton.
Glynis Johns spends a lot of time inside the Lackawanna Historical Society.
She pours over maps — directories — and pretty much anything else that she can get her hands on to help explain the history of African Americans in the city of Scranton. Johns started in 2016 as part of a graduate research project.
“I wanted to know how long African Americans were here and I found we were here for a long time, since 1800, and it’s been amazing and it’s made me feel like this city is mine. I’ve had more pride in my identity and more pride in the city” Johns told Eyewitness News.
Johns has developed an online database at Blackscranton.com her school project has turned into something much bigger.
“I told myself, I can’t keep all this magical history to myself. I cannot leave it in these pages so from there i came back to the community and wanted to share it in any way possible”
When johns first started on her journey — she visited libraries and the historical society. She found a lot of information on the civil war — railroading industry and coal mines — but not much on her ancestors.
“The Black history is a little harder to dig into because it wasn’t thought to be important in the beginning of the last century. People weren’t paying attention to that story so now we have to go backward in time” Added Mary Ann Savakinus, Lackawanna County Historical Society.
Johns is excited by every discovery she makes. She hopes to open a Black Culture Cente in the Electric City.
“I want there to be a space where people can come and look through stacks of archives specific to black history and find whatever they need, a space to learn, a space to be creative” Stressed Johns.
Learn more about BlackScranton.com
Join us for Hidden History on February 16 at 7 pm on WBRE and February 23 at 7 pm on WYOU.