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Resources in African American History and Civil Rights. at the Tennessee State Library & Archives. Where does the story of Civil Rights begin?. 1624 : Africans were imported as slaves to New York’s Hudson River Valley. 1645 : The TRIANGULAR SLAVE TRADE began:

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Resources in african american history and civil rights

Resources in African American History and Civil Rights

at the

Tennessee State Library & Archives


Where does the story of civil rights begin
Where does the storyof Civil Rightsbegin?


Slave auctions

  • 1624: Africans were imported as slaves to New York’s Hudson River Valley.

  • 1645: TheTRIANGULAR SLAVE TRADEbegan:

  • African SLAVES were brought to the West Indies to be traded for

  • SUGAR, RUM & TOBACCO, which

  • were sold in New England for LUMBER & MANUFACTURED GOODS,

  • in order to finance the purchase of new cargoes of SLAVES.

Slave auctions

1688: Pennsylvania Quakers organized the first American protest against slavery.


The civil war brought many changes
The Civil War brought many changes,

but exploitation of black workers continued . . .


Fort negley
Fort Negley

  • Fort Negley was the largest inland stone fort constructed during the Civil War. It was never directly attacked during the Battle of Nashville, and the fort’s cannons were fired only a few times.

  • Fort Negley, which covers four acres, was built in 1862, largely by impressed labor. More than 2,700 African Americans built Fort Negley, with only about 300 of them being paid for their labor. Many of the workers died from the lack of appropriate clothing, warm blankets, and adequate food and shelter.


“I lost 48 hours trying to get Negroes, teams, tools, cooking utensils, and provisions. Only 150 Negroes so far, no tools, teams, etc. I wanted to employ 825 Negroes by the 11th.” (telegram, Gen. Morton to Gen. Buell, August 1862)

Fort Negley, Nashville


“At African church a negro man shot down by the guards engaged in pressing*. It is the custom of the Military authorities to go to the colored people’s churches on Sunday when they wish to make a big haul of pressed* men. The man died afterwards – Briggs attended him.”(Diary of Dr. John Berrien Lindsley, September 20, 1863)* Impressing/impressed: forcing people into military service without notice.



The Fisk Jubilee Singers helped make the nation aware of African American achievement.

From the Merl Eppse Papers


The transformation of America after the end of slavery generated many political cartoons.


Cartoons and photographs generated many political cartoons. are often the beginning of sympathy & understanding … and, eventually, of change.

Images from TSLA Photo Database


See John F. Baker’s book generated many political cartoons.The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation

Household Slaves at Wessyngton Plantation, Robertson County


But s lavery by another name still existed in tennessee and other southern states
But generated many political cartoons.Slavery by Another Name*still existed in Tennessee and other Southern states.

State Legislatures came up with an untapped source of free labor: prisoners!

Under the Convict Leasing program, prisoners were “rented out” to coal companies and other employers during the day & returned to their cells at night. The state made a great deal of money

. . . and the prisoners had become slaves again.

*See Douglas A. Blackmon’s eloquent book by that title (Anchor, 2009).


A man could be thrown into jail for years for such minor offenses as stealing a fence rail to heat his house, or a loaf of bread to feed his family.

Photo of Brushy Mountain Prison from Samuel Robert Simpson Papers


By 1889 TCI was contracting out 60% of Tennessee’s prisoners for over $100,000 a year.One worker in ten died every year.


One result of Convict Leasing was that white miners were shut out of earning their traditional livelihood. It was only after miners revolted that Convict Leasing ended and prison reform could occur.


How can tsla help you discover untangle tennessee s past
How can TSLA help you shut out of earning their traditional livelihood. It was only after discover & untangle Tennessee’s past?


The TSLA photo database, accessible from the main page of our web site and easily searchable by subject, contains thousands of photographs, sketches, and other images.

Here are a few of the many ways:

http://tn.gov/tsla/


Images from TSLA Photo Database our web site and easily searchable by subject, contains thousands of photographs, sketches, and other images.

Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954)

Ray Perkins Calvert photo, 1899

Sumner County child, 1950


from Photo Database our web site and easily searchable by subject, contains thousands of photographs, sketches, and other images.

http://tn.gov/tsla/


2 our cartes de visite collection is full of such treasures as this lovely portrait
2. Our our web site and easily searchable by subject, contains thousands of photographs, sketches, and other images.Cartes de Visite collection is full of such treasures as this lovely portrait.


This carte de visite shows a child with her slave nurse
This our web site and easily searchable by subject, contains thousands of photographs, sketches, and other images.Cartede Visite shows a child with her slave nurse.


3. “This Honorable Body” in our online our web site and easily searchable by subject, contains thousands of photographs, sketches, and other images.Exhibits area showcases the stories of the 14 African American legislators who served in the TN General Assembly in the 19th century.

http://tn.gov/tsla/


19 th century tennessee legislators
19 our web site and easily searchable by subject, contains thousands of photographs, sketches, and other images.th Century Tennessee legislators:


Tennessee’s 19 our web site and easily searchable by subject, contains thousands of photographs, sketches, and other images.th century African American legislators worked hard to makethe law more fair for everyone,but after the last of them left office (1888), the “Jim Crow” lawsdisenfranchised African Americans for many generations.


TeVA: our web site and easily searchable by subject, contains thousands of photographs, sketches, and other images.

4. The Tennessee Virtual Archive

(TeVA) contains a wealth of

historic images from the

treasures in our collection.

It is accessible from our main web page.

http://tn.gov/tsla/



The Mustard Collection focuses on health issues, as in this image of children lined up for vaccinations,




Other relevant teva images may be found in early 20 th century schoolhouses
Other relevant TeVA images may be found in “Early 20 standards.th Century Schoolhouses”


The Rosenwald schools, a vital part of early black education in Tennessee, were funded by a private foundation, along with some contributions from individual donors and state funds.

Bells School, Crockett County


Other tn rosenwald schools
Other TN Rosenwald schools in Tennessee, were funded by a private foundation, along with some contributions from individual donors and state funds.

Lauderdale County

Crockett County

White County

Gibson County




From harper s magazine may 5 1866 colored orphan asylum memphis tsla photo database
From Harper’s Magazine, cartoons,May 5, 1866: “Colored Orphan Asylum, Memphis.”TSLA Photo Database


This cartoons,Harper’s Weekly cartoon features Hiram Revels (seated right), the first black Senator,* who was elected to Jefferson Davis’s former seat.*Mississippi, 1870-1871


6. One of the most interesting cartoons,photo collections at TSLA can be found in the Merl Eppse Papers, featuring images of cultural, educational, andrecreational life in Tennessee.cd





Young stenographers undated photo
Young stenographers cartoons,(undated photo)




The Eppse collection also includes photos of several famous African Americans, including Hattie McDaniel, Louis Armstrong, Marian Anderson, and Jackie Robinson.



These workers are called roustabouts
These workers are called roustabouts. TeVA Collection.

http://tn.gov/tsla/


This is a favorite from the Miers Collection. TeVA Collection.

http://tn.gov/tsla/


8. The Fisk University scrapbook of W.H. Fort Jr. contains many historically valuable images. These photos show Langston Hughes on campus and a Nashville flood in 1926.


9 tsla has a number of important photos and documents from the civil rights era
9. TSLA has a number of important photos and documents from the Civil Rights era.

Images from TSLA Photo Database


Image from TSLA Photo Database the Civil Rights era.

Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights leaders used the Tennessee lunch counter sit-ins as a model for effective protest.



Sometimes progress comes slowly
Sometimes progress comes slowly. assessment of the times.


In what year was the next black legislator elected
In what year was the assessment of the times.next black legislator elected?

Monroe W. Gooden,

Styles L. Hutchins, &

Samuel A. McElwee,

members of the 45th General Assembly

(1887-1888),

were the last African Americans to serve in the Tennessee State Legislature in the 19th century.


In assessment of the times.

A.W. Willis Jr., a Memphis businessman & attorney who had worked with the NAACP to desegregate the Memphis city schools, took his seat in the Tennessee General Assembly.

1965

(77 years later)



Tennessee has had 3 constitutions each new one re defining who is entitled to vote
Tennessee has had voting issues:3 constitutions, each new one re-defining who is entitled to vote:

  • 1st Tennessee Constitution (1796):

  • Free male citizens who own property.

  • 2nd Tennessee Constitution (1835):

  • Free white male citizens who own property.

  • 3rd Tennessee Constitution (1870):

  • All male citizens, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.


It took another 50 years before all adult citizens were able to vote
It took another 50 years before voting issues:all adult citizens were able to vote.


The voting issues:Tennessee vote was crucial to ratification of the 19th Amendment, which required approval by the legislatures of 36 states. By early August of 1920 there were still only 35favorable votes.


But did you know that tennessee was the last state to ratify the 15 th amendment
But . . . did you know voting issues:that Tennessee was the last state to ratify the 15th Amendment?


In 1997
. . . in 1997! voting issues:

Did you also know that Tennessee

granted African Americans the vote before

the 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870?

On February 25, 1867, the Tennessee

General Assembly gave African Americans

the right to vote and to hold political office.

Governor Brownlow signed the bill

into law the following day.




but we also have much to celebrate! prevails,

CEREMONY TO OPEN THE CIVIL RIGHTS ROOM

L-R: Rev. C.T. Vivian, John Seigenthaler, Rev. James Lawson, Diane Nash, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Dr. James Bevel, Dr. Bernard Lafayette. Nashville Public Library, February 15, 2004. Photo by Gary Layda.


In 2010 a bust of Sampson W. Keeble, Tennessee’s first African American legislator, was installed in the State Capitol.

Sculptor Roy Butler prepares the Keeble bust for firing.


Visit us soon – we are Tennessee’s treasurehouse! African American legislator, was installed in the State Capitol.__________________Tennessee State Library & Archives 403 7th Avenue North, Nashville 37243


  • Look under these catalog headings for interesting primary-source items:

  • CIVIL RIGHTS – TENNESSEE

  • (Newsletters and reports from 1965-1967)

  • CIVIL RIGHTS – PERIODICALS – TENNESSEE

  • HIGHLANDER FOLK SCHOOL AUDIO COLLECTION

  • COMMITTEE REPORT TO THE MEMBERS OF

  • THE 81ST SESSION OF THE GENERAL

  • ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE

  • RACE DISCRIMINATION – UNITED STATES

  • (particularly the two books by Pauli Murray, concerning

  • States’ Laws on Race and Color.)


A Special TSLA Treasure primary-source items:Zilphia Horton Folk Music Collection: IV-D-2, Ac. No. 1064Mrs. Horton collected these folksongs, songbooks, and song sheets between 1935 and 1956 when she was music director at the Highlander Folk School in Grundy County. The Highlander Folk School was the leading training center for southern labor and civil rights leaders for nearly three decades (1932-1961). Most of the tunes collected by Mrs. Horton were songs of social protest.And we have many other Highlander School materials.


Recommended reading
Recommended Reading: primary-source items:

David Halberstam. The Children.

John Lewis and Michael D’Orso. Walking with the Wind:

A Memoir of the Movement.

Howard Zinn. SNCC: the New Abolitionists.

Tennessee Historical Quarterly:

David E. Summer. "The Publisher and the Preacher: Racial Conflict at Vanderbilt University.“ (Spring 1997)

Linda T. Wynn."The Dawning of a New Day: The Nashville Sit-Ins, February 13, 1960-May 10, 1960." (Spring 1991)


Our filmed interview with two Tennessee women who took part in the 1960 sit-ins was webcastfrom the MTSU Satellite & Webcasting Center in November 2009. Go here to watch the interview:

http://cem.mtsu.edu/video/k-12/discovering-living-primary-sources-what-we-can-learn-interviewing-participants-civil

You may be asked to create an account or to fill out a temporary webcast viewing form. This process is free, takes only a few minutes, and does not obligate you to anything.


The civil rights struggle is not over. in the 1960 sit-ins was webcast

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice martin luther king jr
The arc of the moral universe is long, in the 1960 sit-ins was webcastbut it bends toward justice.Martin Luther King Jr.


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