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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.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

“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


Resources in african american history and civil rights

“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.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

During Reconstruction education began to change Southern attitudes.

Fisk University 1868


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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

From the Merl Eppse Papers


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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

Images from TSLA Photo Database


Resources in african american history and civil rights

See John F. Baker’s book 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 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).


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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 discover & untangle Tennessee’s past?


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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/


Resources in african american history and civil rights

Images from TSLA Photo Database

Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954)

Ray Perkins Calvert photo, 1899

Sumner County child, 1950


Resources in african american history and civil rights

from Photo Database

http://tn.gov/tsla/


2 our cartes de visite collection is full of such treasures as this lovely portrait

2. Our 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 Cartede Visite shows a child with her slave nurse.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

3. “This Honorable Body” in our online 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

19th Century Tennessee legislators:


Resources in african american history and civil rights

Tennessee’s 19th 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.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

TeVA:

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 harry mustard collection chronicles rutherford county in the mid 1920s

The Harry Mustard Collection chronicles Rutherford County in the mid-1920s.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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


And this delightful photo of a child visiting a health clinic

and this delightful photo of a child visiting a health clinic.


Mustard s images spurred changes in tennessee health standards

Mustard’s images spurred changes in Tennessee health standards.


Other relevant teva images may be found in early 20 th century schoolhouses

Other relevant TeVA images may be found in “Early 20th Century Schoolhouses”


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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

Lauderdale County

Crockett County

White County

Gibson County


5 tsla holdings include a number of drawings and political cartoons

5. TSLA holdings include a number of drawings and political cartoons,

1866 Memphis riots


Resources in african american history and civil rights

Fire in Freedmen’s Schoolhouse, Memphis, 1866


From harper s magazine may 5 1866 colored orphan asylum memphis tsla photo database

From Harper’s Magazine, May 5, 1866: “Colored Orphan Asylum, Memphis.”TSLA Photo Database


Resources in african american history and civil rights

This 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


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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


Resources in african american history and civil rights

Businesses of the 1940s and 1950s


Resources in african american history and civil rights

A Pearl High School basketball team


Business class at tennessee a i

Business class at Tennessee A&I


Young stenographers undated photo

Young stenographers (undated photo)


Resources in african american history and civil rights

Educational celebrations


And social gatherings

and social gatherings


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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


7 the earl s miers river photographs are part of the rich teva collection

7. The Earl S. Miers River Photographs are part of the rich TeVA Collection.

http://tn.gov/tsla/


These workers are called roustabouts

These workers are called roustabouts.

http://tn.gov/tsla/


Resources in african american history and civil rights

This is a favorite from the Miers Collection.

http://tn.gov/tsla/


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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


Resources in african american history and civil rights

Image from TSLA Photo Database

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


10 jack knox s cartoons presented a conservative assessment of the times

10. Jack Knox’s Cartoons presented a conservative assessment of the times.


Sometimes progress comes slowly

Sometimes progress comes slowly.


In what year was the next black legislator elected

In what year was the 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.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

In

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)


In fact tennessee has an interesting history regarding voting issues

In fact, Tennessee has an interesting history regarding voting issues:


Tennessee has had 3 constitutions each new one re defining who is entitled to vote

Tennessee has had 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 all adult citizens were able to vote.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

The 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 that Tennessee was the last state to ratify the 15th Amendment?


In 1997

. . . in 1997!

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.


Tennessee has not always been a place where tolerance prevails

Tennessee has not always been a place where tolerance prevails,


Resources in african american history and civil rights

and we have seen violence...


Resources in african american history and civil rights

but we also have much to celebrate!

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.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

Visit us soon – we are Tennessee’s treasurehouse!__________________Tennessee State Library & Archives 403 7th Avenue North, Nashville 37243


Resources in african american history and civil rights

  • 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.)


Resources in african american history and civil rights

A Special TSLA TreasureZilphia 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:

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)


Resources in african american history and civil rights

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.


Resources in african american history and civil rights

The civil rights struggle is not over.

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, but it bends toward justice.Martin Luther King Jr.


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