Tag Archives: race relations

Teaching the N-word’s history to today’s black students

For a long time, this was all the back story I shared with classes of kids regarding my interest in the civil rights movement. Then one day, a young lady raised her hand. “There’s more to it, isn’t there?” she said. “Yes,” I replied. “So, give already,” she said. “I’m too ashamed,” I replied.

A totally inadequate response. I recognized. So now I tell it all when I visit a school.

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The Scottsboro Boys

On March 25, 1931, local authorities in Paint Rock, AL arrested nine black youths on a freight train after receiving word about a fight between blacks and whites on the train. They discovered two white women, Ruby Bates and Victoria Price, dressed in men’s overalls on the same train and subsequently charged the nine young […]

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Knoxville’s Red Summer of 1919

It wasn’t the only American city simmering with race riots in that ‘Red Summer’ of 1919. But Knoxville, TN up till that time had always prided itself as a model southern city when it came to race relations. That civic image changed dramatically starting on August 30, when an intruder shot and killed Mrs. Bertie […]

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