(WBIR - EAST KNOXVILLE) An influential and ground-breaking Knoxville leader will be remembered through a new traveling exhibit.
The Beck Cultural Exchange Center debuted the display Thursday at Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy, an elementary school named for the exhibit's honoree.
Greene was the city's first African American school board member and a longtime civil rights activist, and her legacy is still impacting students' lives.
She died in 2012, at age 102.
"I remember this face," said Greene's former neighbor and friend Rochelle Britton, as she surveyed the traveling exhibit in the school's library Thursday morning.
"I miss her a whole lot. I really, really do because she brought out a woman in me that I didn't know I had," Britton said. "All the things she would tell me about her life and her story and school and education...'Say with your kids, "Make sure education is a 'must,'"' and if you ask all four of my grandkids right now, all I have to say is, 'Education--' They'll say, 'is a must.'"
Britton's grandkids now attend Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy, whose name was changed in 1974 to honor the ground-breaking educator and civil rights activist.
On Thursday, the school opened its doors to alumni and visitors as part of "Legends and Legacy Day." Student ambassadors led tours through the school, and that evening students performed a living history of Sarah Moore Greene.
"Sarah Moore Greene left a legacy here in our community," assistant principal Jessica Stafford said. "We really want to make sure our students are aware of that legacy and the history behind why we're called Sarah Moore Greene."
She said teachers here encourage students to consider the legacy they want to leave, just as this school's namesake left hers.
"I'm glad she lived a good, strong life and taught so many people about education and got this beautiful school to represent her," Britton said. "It's really a good blessing."
In the wake of Greene's death in Aug. 2012, Gov. Bill Haslam called her "one of the most influential citizens of our state." Senator Lamar Alexander said her "century of life sets an example for all of us."