Tennessee State Library and Archives Celebrates Black History Month

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In celebration of Black History Month, the Tennessee State Library and Archives has posted new and improved versions of three important black history collections.

The collections are: The Beautiful Jim Key collection; Fisk University Scrapbook: School Memories, William Henry Fort, Jr. (1911-1974); and Reconstruction and the African American Legacy in Tennessee.

The Beautiful Jim Key collection (http://www.tn.gov/tsla/TeVAsites/JimK/index.htm) documents the career of Dr. William Key, a former slave from Bedford County who worked as a veterinarian and horse trainer. Key used unorthodox training methods that helped one of his horses named Beautiful Jim Key learn an amazing assortment of tricks. Beautiful Jim Key demonstrated skills associated with reading, writing, spelling, telling time and doing simple arithmetic.

Dr. William Key's work contributed to a national movement to treat animals more humanely.

The Fisk University Scrapbook (http://www.tn.gov/tsla/TeVAsites/FiskScrapbook/index.htm) provides details about life at the Nashville university during the 1920s, less than a decade before Fisk became the first black institution to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The scrapbook includes photos of various campus buildings, students, faculty and visitors. These include photos of famed writer and activist Langston Hughes and Thomas E. Jones, who served as Fisk's fifth president.

The Reconstruction collection (http://www.tn.gov/tsla/TeVAsites/Reconstruction/index.htm) describes life for black people in Tennessee following the Civil War.

"The State Library and Archives is full of terrific resources for people who are doing research for Black History Month," said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. "In addition to these re-released collections, we have many more that are free and available to Tennesseans during the library's regular business hours or online, day or night."

To learn more about significant black history collections at the State Library and Archives, please visit http://www.tn.gov/tsla/history/bibliographies/aa3.htm.

The State Library and Archives is located at 403 7th Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville. The library is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Parking is available in front of, beside and behind the building.


Chester Martin Remembers The Clarence T. Jones Observatory

A true example of American   - and Chattanooga - ingenuity, it was Clarence T. Jones's childhood dream to build a telescope of worthy size and importance. As a professional architect he was able to connect with all the necessary local sources to produce the handsome instrument shown here. Working with the new Barnard Astronomical Society, the telescope with all its component ... (click for more)

First Thanksgiving in Chattanooga (Civil War)

By “first Thanksgiving Day”, no, I do not mean the harvest thanksgiving meal which the Separatist colonists of New Plymouth shared uncomfortably with their Wampanoag neighbors.   Nor do I mean any of the thanksgivings proclaimed on a one-time basis by a U.S. President after that.   In this case, the “First Thanksgiving Day” means the inaugural event of those that have ... (click for more)

Valerie Bray Pleads Guilty In Death Of Well-Known Runner Cameron Bean

A long-time Moccasin Bend Hospital employee pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning in connection with the death of well-known runner Cameron Bean. Ms. Bray pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality involved. Defense attorney Bill Speek said she faces one-two years on each charge at a sentencing hearing on Feb. 1 at 1:30 ... (click for more)

Officer Who Was Shot Returned Fire; Is Recovering Well; Shooter Still On Loose

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday morning that the officer who was shot three times on Thursday is recovering well.   Chief Fletcher said the officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit the vest, which protected him during the shooting.  The officer was able to return fire, although Chief Fletcher would not comment on how many bullets ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennessee Electors Of The President - And Response (2)

This an open letter to the following people who are Tennessee's presidential electors this year: Joey Jacobs (Brentwood), Beth Scott Clayton Amos (Nashville), Jason Mumpower (Bristol), Susan Mills (Maryville), Liz Holiway (Harriman), Lynne Davis (Lascassas), Tom Lawless (Nashville), Mike Callahan (Monterey), Pat Allen (Clarksville), Shannon Haynes (Alamo), and Drew Daniel (Memphis).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abolish Bail For Poor

Our terribly overcrowded Hamilton County Jail may get some help from an unsuspected corner – the Obama administration is tackling the fact that right now over 450,000 people are in our country’s jails because they are too poor to pay for bail. It is a violation of the Constitution to “punish people for their poverty.” As the Eighth Amendment provides, “… excessive bail ought not ... (click for more)