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Doraville community seeks to preserve story of historically Black neighborhood of Carver Hills

The city of Doraville will hold a 5k on Saturday to raise money for a plaque commemorating the neighborhood's history.

DORAVILLE, Ga. — On Saturday, Dekalb County residents will join together to make sure community history is preserved. 

It's a history intertwined in Edgar "Chip" Jones' own family story.  

"This is the house my grandfather built," Jones explained, walking down Carver Drive in Doraville. "He built several houses in this area here."

For Jones, who grew up visiting his grandparents in the Carver Hills neighborhood, the history of the area is at risk of being forgotten. 

"When the neighborhood was started back oh, around 1947 and '48, between 15 and 20 families moved here, and actually General Motors actually bought the property and and actually sold the property to the community there," he said.

The historically Black neighborhood in the city of Doraville was created in the 1940s for families like Jones', displaced by a GM plant. The community transplanted along with churches and its school, but over the decades, area change left its mark. 

The creation of Interstate 285 split Carver Hills while further redevelopment narrowed the neighborhood to essentially one street.

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"It's been cut and divided so many times that it's only a few homes left in the area," Gerald Evans, Doraville City Council Member and Mayor Pro-Tem, explained. 

Credit: City of Doraville

As generations have moved on, or in some cases sold their land to developers, there's now a push to reflect on the area's roots and make sure the community's story is not forgotten. 

"The truth about the history of Doraville, the existence of this community," Evans explained of his hope for a commemorative marker. "The reason why it was here, talking about the plant, the workers there, the people that resided here so that they're not forgotten."

"Right now there's just a handful of residents left so we really want to have this marker," Jones added. "So the history can be remembered."

The city of Doraville and community members plan to raise money for a plaque documenting Carver Hills' history, generating funds through a 5k run scheduled for September 10. 

Learn more about the event, which kicks off at 8am at Doraville's H-Mart, and register here.

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