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The Tennessee State Museum hosts a wide range of FREE, fascinating events and educational programs throughout the year. Advance reservations are not required, unless indicated on the listing. For seated events, seats are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
This two-part series and panel discussion will discuss prominent historic Black communities throughout Tennessee. The first discussion will focus on the communities of Orange Mound in Memphis, Free Hill in Clay County, and Black communities in Knoxville. We will look at how they were formed, the historic events that may have led to the development of the community, how that community thrived (or didn’t), the community culture and its broader cultural impact. We will then bring the discussion to the present and examine what these communities look like now, whether the culture has survived, and thoughts on how they re-shape the community to reflect the voices and aspirations of those currently living there.
The panel will feature:
Jeneisha C. Harris is an Orange Mound native, and the founder of the Barbara J. Harris Scholarship for the empowerment of Orange Mound youth. Harris has worked on countless projects in Orange Mound and throughout the state to help uplift youth. Currently, Harris is a Biology and Psychology major at Tennessee State University, and serves as the IGNITE Tennessee Fellow, a non-partisan organization that seeks to mentor and educate young women in public service.
Reverend Reneé Kesler is a Knoxville native, a Licensed Ordained Associate Minister at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville. She is also the President of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center and formerly worked as director of the City of Knoxville’s Community Development Department. The Beck Cultural Exchange Center is devoted to educating and preserving African American history and culture in Knoxville and East Tennessee.
Jo Ann McClellan is the founder and current president of the African American Heritage Society of Maury County, an award-winning organization that seeks to preserve and interpret the African American history and communities of Maury County. She is the author of the book Gone But Not Forgotten: African American Cemeteries and 1908-1930 Death Records. In 2020, she was named Maury County Historian.
The link to the online discussion, presented through WebEx at 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. CST (7 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. EST). Guests will be able to ask questions during the discussion that will be answered towards the end of the talk, should time allow.
Click here is the link for the event. The password is "Hello" and it is case sensitive, so be sure to use a cap "H"
Photo caption: Orange Mound children playing, 1959. Courtesy of Memphis Public Libraries.