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101 School Street
Clinton, TN 37717-1214
Monday – Saturday
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Green McAdoo Cultural Center in Clinton, Tennessee (Anderson County) is a Museum dedicated to telling the story of the Clinton 12 -- the courageous young black students who in August 1956, quietly entered the front door of all-white Clinton High School, making it the first desegregated public high school in the South. The center opened in 2006 as part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the historic event. It is the former site of the segregated Green McAdoo Grammar School, where African American students attended grades first through eighth. Outside the center is a display of a dozen life-sized bronze statues by The Large Art Company that depict each of the students as they are about to walk from their neighborhood to integrate Clinton High. The center includes a 1950s period classroom, videos, letters and historical artifacts.
The Center is named for Green McAdoo, a U.S. Army veteran and member of the all Black 24th U.S. Infantry Regiment, who was born on January 3, 1855 in Clinton.
The Green McAdoo Cultural Center is a Tennessee destination on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, a catalog of over 100 museums, churches, courthouses and other sites that commemorate civil rights leaders and activists. Admission is free, but they do accept donations.
Recognizing its cultural significance, The Green McAdoo Cultural Center is supported by the State of Tennessee through the Tennessee State Museum.
The Clinton Desegregation Crisis, from Tennessee Encyclopedia
The Clinton 12 (Film) - The Clinton 12 is the 2006 documentary from filmmaker Keith McDaniel that tells the compelling story of the twelve African American teenagers who, in the fall of 1956, forcefully attended the all-white high school in Clinton, Tennessee. The film not only focuses on these brave teens, but it shows how the community responded to the Supreme Court’s decision to desegregate schools following Brown vs. the Board of Education.
This Promise of Change by Jo Ann Allen Boyce (Book) - This Promise of Change is Jo Ann Allen Boyce’s telling of her experience integrating the all-white high school in Clinton, Tennessee. When Ms. Boyce was fourteen years old, she and eleven other students were the first African-Americans to attend the school. They faced threats and harassment every day, and required police escorts home. They became known as the Clinton 12. The book includes a timeline of school desegregation and civil rights landmarks as well as a scrapbook of photos taken in Clinton. It is the first children’s book about this period in Clinton’s history. The book is fast-paced and is written in various poetic forms. It was the Tennessee State Museum Book Club selection for July 2019.