Civil Rights events on the chopping block for textbooks - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Civil Rights events on the chopping block for textbooks

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators is concerned possible changes in state school textbooks could wipe out major events in the civil rights movement and keep them from being taught. 

The state board of education is considering removing four historical events from future textbooks.

1. The Highlander Folk School, once a major player in the civil rights movement that counted Rosa Parks among its alumni and Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt and folk singer Pete Seeger among its supporters.

2.The tent city movement in western Tennessee that sprang up in the early 1960s when white property owners evicted hundreds of black tenant farmers in retaliation for demanding the right to vote.

3. Nashville suffragette Anne Dudley's efforts to get lawmakers to make Tennessee the 36th and deciding state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, giving women the right to vote.  A statue honoring Dudley and four other suffrage leaders was installed in Nashville's Centennial Park in August.

4. Pulitzer Prize-winning West Tennessee author Alex Haley's novel, "Roots: The Saga of an American Family," and the television miniseries that became a national phenomenon when it aired in 1977.

Memphis Democratic Representative Karen Camper is asking the public to get involved. “We can’t sit idly by and let these changes occur without our input.  We need to go to the State Board of Education website and weigh-in on these important proposals.  It’s critical that we make sure our voices are heard and protect our heritage.”

To learn more about the recommendations and voice your opinion on the changes, click here. The website will take input until October 28.

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