Melungeon Fifth Union draws more than 1,000

Melungeon Fifth Union draws more than 1,000

KINGSPORT – Type “Melungeon” into a popular Internet search engine and within seconds you’ll get a list of more than 17,000 contacts for the word.

That level of recognition is a far cry from the days when the word was barely uttered, even by those said to be members of the group.

“A lot of people who knew of their ancestry didn’t tell their kids,” said Wayne Winkler, president of the Melungeon Heritage Association. “They were trying to protect them, they didn’t want them to suffer the stigma that had been there in the past.”

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