Sewanee in Franklin County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Desegregation of Franklin County Public Schools
Nine years after Brown v. Board of Education, eight local families initiated a lawsuit to compel Franklin County to desegregate the public school system. The plaintiffs included the Bates, Cameron, Camp, Goodstein, Hill, Sisk, Staten, and Turner families. They were represented by Nashville attorney Z. Alexander Looby and Jack Greenburg, Constance Baker Motley, and James M. Nabrit of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The case was successful, and in 1964 the U.S. District Court issued an order to desegregate the schools. This lawsuit was notable in that it involved both white and African-American plaintiffs.
The Sewanee community raised funds to add four new classrooms to the Sewanee Public School, located at this site, thus eliminating the argument that there was insufficient space to educate all of the community's children together. Additionally, during the summer of 1964, Sewanee residents offered tutoring across the street at Otey Parish. This effort countered a second argument that African-American children would not be adequately prepared to join their white classmates.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Education. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Historical Commission series list.
Location. 35° 11.834′ N, 85° 55.155′ W. Marker is in Sewanee, Tennessee, in Franklin County. Marker is on University Avenue 0.1 miles north of Reed's Lane, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 216 University Ave, Sewanee TN 37375, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Saints Rest (approx. 0.3 miles away); Army of Tennessee (approx. 0.6 miles away); Rebel's Rest (approx. 0.6 miles away); Edmund Kirby Smith (approx. 0.7 miles away); University of the South (approx. ¾ mile away); Allan Gipson (approx. 1.8 miles away); Grundy County / Marion County (approx. 5.3 miles away); Monteagle Sunday School Assembly (approx. 5½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sewanee.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 54 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 28, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.