Friday, September 21, 2012

Civil Rights Training In Tennessee -- Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Did you know that a center called the Highlander Folk School (now the Highlander Research and Education Center) provided training for some leaders in the American Civil Rights Movement during the 1950's. 

The center has moved to another place in Tennessee, but it was originally located in the community of Summerfield, which is between Monteagle and Tracy City.  Among notable leaders of the Civil Rights Movement who received training there are Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.  The training espoused nonviolent ways to effect change.

Sadly, a backlash against the school's role in the movement led to it being closed by the state of Tennessee in 1961.  It did, however, reorganize and move to East Tennessee, where it still operates.  The focus of the school has not been just on the needs of African-Americans, but also Appalachia, labor, and the entire Southern U.S. 


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