Tennessee December 17, 2018
Tennessee’s Civil Rights Trail Will Give You A Fascinating Look Back In Time
Tennessee, being a part of the faith-haunted south, perhaps has one of the most speckled pasts of any state in the Union. As a participant of the Confederate campaign during the Civil War and a hotbed of activity during the Civil Rights Movement, the Volunteer State has spades of history stretching back hundreds of years. Tennessee is home to ten stops on the Civil Rights Trail, each one important and fascinating, but if you’re looking for a few quick stops these five places throughout the state are necessary.
1. Clayborn Temple - 294 Hernando Street
The Clayborn Temple is located in Memphis, and it's known as an important meeting place for regional planning during the Civil Rights Movement. It also served as a popular place for the well-known Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to speak when in the area.
2. Nashville Public Library Civil Rights Room - 615 Church Street
The Nashville Public Library is well-known for its gorgeous facade, but it's the knowledge it hides behind its beautiful walls that truly matters. You can visit the Civil Rights Room, an area meant for studying the Civil Rights movement in the city and beyond. You can request a private tour, or you can visit during normal library hours.
3. Mason Temple Church of God in Christ - 930 Mason Street
If you know of Dr. King's "Mountaintop" speech, then you'll find it quite interesting that the Mason Temple Church of God in Christ is where it was given the night before his death. 3,000 people gathered to listen, and the speech was given in response to the unfair working conditions for sanitation workers.
4. Clark Memorial United Methodist Church - 1014 14th Ave N
Located in downtown Nashville, the Clark Memorial United Methodist Church was the meeting site for local efforts. Dr. King held the Southern Christian Leadership Conference meeting in the space in 1961, and the church also played host to the nonviolent workshops led by James Lawson.
5. Fisk University - 1000 17th Ave N
As the oldest university in Nashville, of which there are many, the school founded in 1866 is known as the first ever African-American university that was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Thurgood Marshall graduated from Fisk, and it also served as a hotbed of activity during the Nashville sit-in demonstrations.
This forgotten gravesite in Tennessee is also a pretty incredible look at the state’s past.