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Ammie McRae Jenkins, founder of the Sandhills Family Heritage Association, helps preserve black family-owned land and culture. The NewsHour reports on her efforts.
Finally tonight, another in our series of profiles of Purpose Prize nominees. The prize is awarded to people who began new social enterprises after retiring. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from the Sandhills region of North Carolina.
FARMERS MARKET ATTENDEE:
And we don't have to put it all out, but let's put enough out to…
FRED DE SAM LAZARO, NewsHour Correspondent:
This summer, for the first time in recent memory, there was a farmers market in Spring Lake, North Carolina.
We do thank you for giving Mrs. Jenkins a dream.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO:
The weekly event is the brainchild of Ammie McRae Jenkins. She retired in 2001 at age 60 and returned to the Sandhills area, a sprawling region about an hour south of Raleigh-Durham, a land steeped in rich, sometimes painful history.
On this spot in 1789 in the Sandhills largest city, Fayetteville, North Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution. But this also was a market where slaves were bought and sold. Ten miles away is the Army's Fort Bragg. Tucked inside is another would-be landmark.
AMMIE MCRAE JENKINS, Sandhills Family Heritage Association:
This is what is left of the foundation.
A few rocks from the fireplace are about all that is left of the 650-acre McRae family homestead, built by her great-grandfather. He was in a pioneering group of freed slaves who bought and farmed land here after the Civil War. This was Jenkins' childhood home.
AMMIE MCRAE JENKINS:
We grew everything. We had the fruits, the vegetable gardens. We had lots of hogs. We had cows, goats, chickens.
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