Locals discuss their journey from Liberia and its independence

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - If you ask Caroline Mooney where she's from, she takes no issue telling you she was born in Liberia.

There are more than 50 Liberians who have made Knoxville their home over the years.

"Liberia is a wonder country; a beautiful country," Mooney, a member of The Liberian Association of Knoxville, said.

It's a country that has several ties to America down to the flag.

"It is red, white and blue with one star. The one star represents one state-the Republic of Liberia," Mooney said.

There are more than 50 Liberians who have made Knoxville their home over the years. Many knew each other and say they were forced here, especially in the early 90's during a civil war.

"I was in the forest for, I think 9 months. I couldn't find my parents. Parents couldn't find their kids. So, I was on my own with different people," Monica Johnson, a member of The Liberian Association of Knoxville, said.

More than two decades later, today is a happier day. It's one that's a cause for a celebration. The Liberian Association of Knoxville is holding a three-day independence celebration. It gained its independence from America in July 26, 1847.

"People have heard about Liberia, they have heard about the civil war, but it's only from word of hearsay. We really want people to ask questions, and so they can do away with a lot of superstitions," Mooney said.

Two countries worlds a part coming together through song and dance. And, reuniting Mooney with family and friends.

The event kicks off next Friday with a ball.

This year's guest speaker is community advocate Reverend Dr. Harold Middlebrook, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday Party:
Admission: $10 (food + 1 Drink Free)
Time: 8PM
Venue: Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development Hall
1617 Dandridge Ave. Knoxville, Tenn.

Family and Friends Park Day:
Saturday July 27, 2019 Time: 1:00 PM– 7:00pm
Venue: Ashely Nicole Park
620 Winona St, Knoxville, TN 37917

Sunday's Thanksgiving Service
Time: 10:30 AM
Venue: The New Mount Calvary Baptist Church
2409 Magnolia Ave. Knoxville, Tenn.

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