The Black Scranton Project keeps history alive

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Locally, nationally and worldwide we’ve seen protests for the black lives matter movement. One local non-profit organization is finding the roots of where this started here in our area. 

With the recent death of George Floyd we have seen a number of protests happening around the world for equality. That fight is nothing new to Scranton as that fight has been going on for well over 100 years. We spoke to Glynis Johns, founder and CEO of The Black Scranton Project, a local organization trying to keep that history alive.

“The black community here has been systematically erased. Systematically erased. And I want people to know that it’s not a coincidence.” 

Johns grew up in the Scranton area and has dedicated her life to uncovering the black history buried here. This led to the creation of The Black Scranton Project. Johns knows understanding begins with education. 

“We can’t break this cycle if we never start a new process of un-gearing what we already know.”   

If you have a keen eye you can see Scranton’s beauty, but what you cannot see is the black history made here over 100 years ago. The Black Scranton Project is trying to bring that history to light. 

“We’re trying to get markers and different art installations around the city that represents what was here. The downtown area, specifically center city, was where the black community was…. Now that downtown area has been turned into parking lots.” 

The Black Scranton Project is in the early stages of creating a community center so all can learn more about this history and immerse themselves in black culture. 

“Come through, do research if they want to, come through to work on art if they want to, hang out, we want to have a discovery play zone.” 

All to prevent history from continuing to repeat itself. 

There will also be a Juneteenth Jubilee to celebrate people of color at Nay Aug Park on June 19th at 4 PM, all are welcome to the celebration. 

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