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Scholar to speak about Eastside community April 12

Warren Carson will talk about the traditional black section of Tryon — past, present and future — at an upcoming lecture at the Tryon Historical Museum Thursday, April 12, at 5:30 p.m., which will focus in particular on the institutions and personalities of the Eastside.

Geographically, the Eastside covers a 14-block area northeast of Morris the Horse, from Howard Street uphill to Markham Road. Carson’s lecture will discuss how this quadrant of town fits into Tryon as a whole.

The Eastside encompasses such institutions as St. Luke’s CME Methodist Church and Garrison Baptist Church, both of which are 140 years old. Good Shepherd Episcopal’s history encompasses both the worship and education of the community through the largess of Edmund Embury, an important community leader who donated land and funds for construction of the current church, as well as land for schools that served the community.

Edmond Embury School, which once provided education for black students grades one through 12, is long since gone, commemorated by a lone marker. The school was abandoned when Polk County schools were integrated in 1967, ahead of full state desegregation compliance in 1971.

Carson attended both Embury and Tryon schools. Carson later earned undergraduate degree at UNC Chapel Hill, where alumi have since named him “Outstanding Black Alumnus.”

Carson received his master’s degree in African-American studies at Atlanta University, and his doctorate in English from the University of South Carolina Columbia, after which he joined the staff at USC Spartanburg, where he has served as professor of English and African-American studies for the past 34 years.

Carson has held administrative roles at USC Greenville as well, including those of vice chancellor of two departments and interim dean of the School of Arts and Science.

Named distinguished professor emeritus at Upstate, Carson has received numerous additional academic accolades and accomplishments. He is also a member of a number of educational boards, and has served as past president of the College Language Arts Association.

Carson’s upcoming lecture is free and open to the public. The historical museum is located at 26 Maple St., Tryon. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

-Submitted by Jackie Burke