Spartanburg Co. Little Africa community earns historical marker

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Just off South Carolina Highway 9 sits the sign for the Little Africa Community.

On Sunday at 3 p.m., the community will celebrate its more than 150 year history.

According to an article out of the Spartanburg Herald from July of 1981, Little Africa was founded in the late 1800’s by Simpson Foster and Emanuel Waddell, a Cherokee Native American, and it grew into a community of thousands.

Sundra Proctor Smith said she always knew Little Africa was different, but it wasn’t until she became older that she realized just how special her community was.

Proctor Smith said she wanted to ensure future generations knew the area’s historical significance.

For more than two years, she gathered factual data, historical documents and the money need to apply for the historical marker from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

“My parents still live in Little Africa, my grandparents. So, it was normal for us. But then when I look around other communities, there are no other communities like this in our area,” Proctor Smith said.

Edward Waddell, is related to Emanuel Waddell, said there’s one major factor that poured into the success of Little Africa.

“Here in Little Africa we own property. We don’t rent. We don’t lease. We own the property,” Waddell said.

He then noted many families who owned land had successful family members that became doctors, lawyers and faith leaders.

Simpson Foster’s great-great-great-great grand daughter Krisit Foster became emotional on how her family’s legacy has grown.

“I don’t think he meant for it to really prosper like this, where a lot of families come together and be one big family. I think, you know, if he was here to see this, it would be something he would be proud of,” Foster said.

The community will host Community Day on Sunday, October 20 at 3 p.m.

The Community Day will be a large party at Little Africa Park with food, fun and fellowship to celebrate the historical marker that will hang on the sign on Little Africa Road.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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