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8th of August: Russellville | Kentucky Life | KET

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Published on Feb 4, 2014

Russellville, Kentucky, in Logan County hosts what has become the largest of the 8th of August celebrations in the state, partly because of the West Kentucky African American Heritage Museum, which draws tourists and returning family alike.

Historian Michael Morrow details Russellville's rich and troubled history for African Americans, from slavery and the Civil War to segregation, mob lynchings, and the civil rights movement. The 8th of August celebration here is relatively recent, having started about 40 years ago, and organizer Paulette Smith explains how the celebration, with its music, church services, and basketball and softball tournaments, helps knit the community together.

The 8th of August celebration is both an Emancipation celebration and a homecoming that has been a tradition since the 1860s.

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