Entries

McFerren, John and Viola
Two years after the passage of the 1957 Civil Rights Act, civil rights activists John and Viola Harris McFerren led voter-registration drives in Fayette County. Unyielding proponents of the right of A... Continue Reading »
McKissack and McKissack Architects
The McKissack and McKissack architectural tradition dates back to the first Moses McKissack (1790-1865) of the West African Ashanti tribe, who was sold into slavery to William McKissack of North Carol... Continue Reading »
McMahan, Fred
Fred McMahan was a prominent and successful African American brick mason and builder from Sevierville. McMahan learned the trade from his grandfather, Isaac Dockery. He attended Knoxville College wher... Continue Reading »
Memphis Free Speech
Founded in 1888 by the Reverend Taylor Nightingale, the Memphis Free Speech was published on the grounds of Nightingale's church, the First (Beale Street) Baptist Church. The name of the paper ch... Continue Reading »
Memphis Hip Hop
Memphis has long celebrated a rich musical and cultural heritage. Its rhythm-n-blues, soul, and rock-n-roll foundations are exemplified by Beale Street, Stax Records, and Graceland, respectively, wh... Continue Reading »
Memphis World
Launched in 1931 by the Southern Newspaper Syndicate as a tri-weekly under the editorial direction of Lewis O. Swingler (1906-1962), the World later claimed to be the "South's Oldest and Leading ... Continue Reading »
Merritt, John Ayers
John A. Merritt, one of Tennessee's most successful football coaches, was born on January 26, 1926, in Falmouth, Kentucky, the son of a stonemason, Bradley Merritt and his wife, Grace. After comp... Continue Reading »
Miller, Randolph
Randolph Miller, former slave and newspaper editor, was emancipated with hundreds of other African Americans on June 9, 1864, in Newton County, Georgia, as General William T. Sherman's army swept... Continue Reading »
Moore, Grace
Grace Moore, popular soprano in opera, musical comedy, and film, was born December 6, 1901, in Slabtown, Cocke County, and christened Mary Willie Grace. She spent her youth in Jellico, where she sang ... Continue Reading »
Napier, James C.
African American businessman and leader James C. Napier was born to free parents on June 9, 1845, in Nashville. His father, William Carroll, was a free hack driver and a sometime overseer. James atten... Continue Reading »
Nash, Diane J.
In the vanguard of the national civil rights and antiwar movements from 1959 to 1967, Diane Judith Nash was born on May 15, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois. Reared a Roman Catholic, Nash received her prima... Continue Reading »
Nashville Globe
Founded in 1906, the Nashville Globe promoted self-reliance and racial solidarity as the best means for Nashville's African American community to succeed and prosper within the confines of the Ji... Continue Reading »
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
This important national organization for civil rights began in 1909 in protest of violent forms of racism, including lynching; of racial segregation; and of disfranchisement of African American voters... Continue Reading »
National Baptist Publishing Board
Chartered in 1896 by Richard H. Boyd and a group of black businessmen and fully operational by 1898, the National Baptist Publishing Board grew in the twentieth century to be the largest black publish... Continue Reading »
Negro Leagues Baseball
As early as 1871 Nashville had African American baseball clubs, but it was not until 1886 that the nation's first professional league of black teams was organized. The Southern League of Colored ... Continue Reading »
Orange Mound
Orange Mound, a Memphis community created for African Americans in the late nineteenth century, is a significant example of how “Jim Crow” segregation impacted neighborhood development i... Continue Reading »
Parker's Chapel
Parker’s Chapel is an African American community that was established in Sumner County shortly after the Civil War by ex-slaves. Originally known as “Taylor’s Old Field” or s... Continue Reading »
Pierce, Juno Frankie
Founder of the Tennessee Vocational School for Colored Girls, J. Frankie Pierce was born during or shortly after the Civil War to Nellie Seay, the house slave of a Smith County legislator. Frankie Pie... Continue Reading »
Preston Taylor
African American businessman and religious leader Preston Taylor was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on November 7, 1849, of slave parents. Taylor served as a drummer boy in the Union army during the s... Continue Reading »
Price, Hollis Freeman
Hollis Freeman Price Sr. was born in Virginia in 1904 at the dawn of the Jim Crow era in the American South. Reared by parents who were prominent educators and devout Christians, young Price’s d... Continue Reading »