TSLA Commemorates Black History Month with Updated Online Exhibit

Thursday, February 14, 2013
In celebration of Black History Month, the Tennessee State Library and Archives is introducing a greatly expanded version of one of its most popular online exhibits: “This Honorable Body: African American Legislators in 19th Century Tennessee.” Available at http://tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/blackhistory/index.htm, the revised exhibit offers many intriguing new features.

The original site was created in 2006 at the request of the Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus. Dedicated to the 14 African-Americans elected to the Tennessee General Assembly between 1873 and 1887, it provided a considerable body of historical material that had never before been assembled in one place.

Since that time, however, information gleaned from descendants, historical newspapers, and other sources has produced even greater insight into the lives and works of those early black legislators. The updated exhibit, which is part of the Secretary of State’s web site, will feature more detailed biographies of each of the legislators, most of whom were born as slaves, and the texts of the bills they sponsored while serving in the General Assembly.

The exhibit also includes transcriptions of other documents relevant to the study of black history, from an early draft of the Declaration of Independence to the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as timelines of significant events in African-American history and civil rights, with special emphasis on Tennessee.

A section dedicated to the Jim Crow era examines voting rights, miscegenation laws, “grandfather clauses,” and Tennessee’s first Jim Crow law. Visitors to the site can examine some of the actual registration forms and tests used to discourage African-American voters during the period.

A new section for educators offers quizzes, scavenger hunts, and PowerPoint programs to help introduce students to important but little-known aspects of post-Reconstruction history.

The site includes dozens of new photographs as well as an article about the 2010 dedication of a statue honoring Sampson Keeble, Tennessee’s first black state representative, and his fellow legislators. The Keeble bust, which now stands near the House Chamber in the Tennessee Capitol, has been featured in national television programs, web sites, and publications.


Signal Mountain Genealogical Society Presents Book

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society presented the book Order of First Families of North Carolina Registry of Ancestors by John R. Brayton, The book contains research information from the days when Tennessee made up the western-most portion of North Carolina.  Many of the residents of Signal Mountain can trace their families to that time and location.  Betty Fassnacht, ... (click for more)

TSLA Releases a New Digital Collection Showcasing Tennessee Folklife

What do roley hole marbles, white oak baskets, shape-note singing, and banjoes have in common? All are examples of Tennessee folk culture or "folkways" available online in the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ newest digital collection: "Tennessee State Parks Folklife Project Collection, 1979-1984." The collection documents folk culture unique to Tennessee and highlights Tennessee's ... (click for more)

Bryant Found Guilty Of Aggravated Rape, Robbery In Finley Stadium Jogger Case

A Criminal Court jury on Thursday afternoon, found Devontavious Bryant guilty of aggravated rape and robbery in the October 20, 2012 rape of a woman jogging past Finley Stadium.   Bryant decided to testify, saying, "I didn't rape that woman." He told prosecutor Cameron Williams, "I can't force the jury to believe nothing but I'm telling you the truth." Bryant ... (click for more)

Hixson Shopping Center Anchored By Walmart Sells For $22,750,000

The Hixson shopping center anchored by Walmart has sold for $22,750,000. Oak Park Partners reached a deal to sell the Oak Park Town Center to Dfg-chattanooga, LLC. The center at 5756 Highway 153 opened In October of 2001. The almost 500,000-square-foot center also houses Office Depot, PetCo, Old Navy, Marshalls and a number of smaller tenants. It was designed by ... (click for more)

Always Read The Fine Print - And Response

So, Chief Dodd retired before 25 years of service and is angry that he's being charged a 5 percent fee for surviving spouse benefits, even though that change was enacted prior to his retiring? Well, welcome to the real world, Mr. Dodd. Always read the fine print. City employees were also once able to carry their health insurance with them if they retired earlier than 25 years, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Pre-Thanksgiving Nudge

This time next week it will be Thanksgiving and, as I was browsing on the Internet yesterday, I was absently searching for something to catch the holiday mood when I found it. In 1978 Ronald Reagan was running hard to become the President of the United States, which he became in 1981-89, and, as fate would have it, suddenly it came that time during the week when he would record ... (click for more)