Reception to preview Flat Rock exhibit at History Center

Historic photos will preview “The Flat Rock Story of Resilience Deep Roots in DeKalb,” coming to the DeKalb History Center in February 2019.

Ninety-one-year-old Patsy Moon, who left Flat Rock and DeKalb County in the 1950s because of racism and segregation, will be the guest of honor at an Aug. 24 reception for an upcoming exhibit about the community that will open February 2019 at the DeKalb History Center.

Moon, who relocated to Los Angeles where she raised her family, will provide live oral history during the reception  sponsored by the DeKalb History Center and the Flat Rock Archives.

The reception, which takes place at the Historic Courthouse building in downtown Decatur, will announce the opening "The Flat Rock Story of Resilience Deep Roots in DeKalb" exhibit dedicated to one of the county's oldest African-American communities.  

The Flat Rock Archives, co-founded in 2006 by Johnny Waits, the late Rev. T.A. Bryant Jr. and Vera Whitaker, is the only African-American archival facility in DeKalb County.  

Located in the T.A. Bryant Sr. Homestead – which was built in 1917 and includes a barn, smokehouse and outhouse – the archives' preservation efforts have earned local and national recognition, and when actor Chris Tucker’s ancestry was researched, it was featured in the 2006 documentary series "African American Lives featuring Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr."

The reception will also feature a video detailing the history of the Flat Rock Community in a “Reclaimed by Nature” Arabia Mountain exhibit. There will also be a small photo gallery preview of the coming exhibit and the opportunity to view the history center’s current exhibits.

Organizers say the Flat Rock exhibit will explore and document, in detail, a community that has thrived as one of the oldest African-American slave resettlement areas in America. 

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Johnny Waits at flatrockarchives@gmail.com.

The hour-and-a-half reception, which is free and open to the public, starts at 7 p.m.

The Historic DeKalb Courthouse is at 101 E. Court Square in downtown Decatur.

For more information, contact Fred Mobley at mobley@dekalbhistory.org or JohnnyWaits at flatrockarchives@gmail.com.