Civil Rights

Bowman, Eva Lowery
African American business leader in cosmetology and civil rights activist Eva Lowery Bowman was born to William and Alice Lowery in Nashville on April 25, 1899. She attended Pearl High School, Walden ... Continue Reading »
Burch Jr., Lucius E.
Lucius E. Burch Jr., attorney, conservationist, and civil rights advocate, was born on a large farm outside Nashville on January 25, 1912, the son of Dr. Lucius E. Burch and Sarah Cooper Burch. He was... Continue Reading »
Cain Jr., Robert "Bobby"
Bobby Cain became the first African American student to graduate from a public formally segregated white high school in Tennessee during the immediate controversial years of integration following the ... Continue Reading »
Campbell, Will Davis
Will D. Campbell, civil rights advocate and author, was the only white person present at the founding of Dr. Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Campbell was born July ... Continue Reading »
Carawan, Guy
Guy Carawan and wife Candie Anderson Carawan are noted for their long association with Highlander Research and Education Center in East Tennessee, their work in documenting southern folk music, and th... Continue Reading »
Civil Rights Movement
Like other states of the American South, Tennessee has a history which includes both slavery and racial segregation. In some ways, however, the history of the relationship between the races in the Vol... Continue Reading »
Clinton Desegregation Crisis
A series of events from 1947 to 1958 placed the Civil Rights story of Clinton, the seat of Anderson County, on the national stage as one of the starting points in the modern Civil Rights movement. Wit... Continue Reading »
Columbia Race Riot, 1946
This post-World War II race riot occurred in the town of Columbia on the night of February 25-26, 1946. Like other outbreaks of violence in the South in the immediate postwar era, this incident involv... Continue Reading »
Disfranchising Laws
In 1889 the Tennessee General Assembly passed four acts of self-described electoral reform that resulted in the disfranchisement of a significant portion of African American voters as well as many poo... Continue Reading »
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt)
W. E. B. Du Bois was a prolific writer and profoundly original thinker who was influenced by his years in Tennessee as a student at Fisk University and by his public school teaching in rural Tennessee... Continue Reading »
Durick, Joseph Aloysius
Following the directives of the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Joseph A. Durick led Tennessee's Catholic Church into the modern era during the 1960s and 1970s. The eighth bishop of Nashville, Dur... Continue Reading »
Fisk University
Fisk Free Colored School, predecessor of Fisk University, was established on January 9, 1866, in Nashville to offer education--as a means of building better lives--to formerly enslaved African America... Continue Reading »
Griggs, Sutton E.
Reverend Sutton E. Griggs, minister, writer, and community leader, was born in Chatfield, Texas, in 1882. He was the son of Allen R. Griggs, a former slave and Baptist minister. He attended public s... Continue Reading »
Haynes, George Edmund
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, George E. Haynes was the only child of Louis and Mattie Sloan Haynes. At a young age he moved with his parents to New York, where he spent his youth. In 1903 he received ... Continue Reading »
Highlander Folk School
The history of the Highlander Folk School reflects the course of organized labor and Civil Rights movements in the South, as well as the struggles of southern activists between the 1930s and early 196... Continue Reading »
Highlander Research and Education Center
Chartered in 1961, the Highlander Research and Education Center is the institutional successor of the Highlander Folk School. The adult education center operates in a considerably different context, h... Continue Reading »
Hooks, Benjamin Lawson
Benjamin L. Hooks, civil rights attorney, minister, judge, and executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was born in Memphis, the son of Robert B. a... Continue Reading »
Hooks, Julia Britton
Julia Britton Hooks, an African American clubwoman known as the "Angel of Beale Street," was born free in 1852 in Frankfort, Kentucky. Her parents, Henry Britton, a carpenter, and Laura Marshall Britt... Continue Reading »
Horton, Myles Falls
Myles F. Horton, a founder and director of both the Highlander Folk School and the Highlander Research and Education Center, was a progressive educator whose programs not only contributed significantl... Continue Reading »
Johnson, Charles S.
Charles S. Johnson, distinguished sociologist and African American leader, was born in 1893 in Bristol, Virginia. He was educated at Wayland Academy in Richmond, Virginia Union University, and the Uni... Continue Reading »