CLINTON, Tenn. — Clinton and Anderson County are filled with history. The area remembers and honors the legacy of many groundbreaking groups and individuals, not just during Black History Month, but every day.
This part of East Tennessee has been instrumental in the fight for Civil Rights and education for all.
The Green McAdoo Cultural Center honors the legacy of the Clinton 12. It works to educate the public about their role in the history of desegregation.
One of the main supporters of Green McAdoo was the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis. He and Zach Wamp crossed the aisle to get funding for the museum.
The stories of the Clinton 12, and the town of Clinton, are now known worldwide. Of the original Clinton 12, six are still living, and four of them are still in East Tennessee.
For those who lived through the Civil Rights movement, like Bobby Cain, the story is personal.
There are different rooms at the Green McAdoo Center and each serves a different purpose in the museum. The exhibit room is a timeline of what happened during the time of the Clinton 12.
Jerry Shattuck was a White teenager at Clinton High School during the time of integration and now remembers the past while also being memorialized in the museum.
The Green McAdoo Center has some exciting things on the horizon, like an upcoming Smithsonian exhibit and a Juneteenth celebration.
A farm in Clinton, near the Museum of Appalachia, is coined as a place where justice grows.
It's the Children's Defense Fund Haley Farm. In 1994, the current owners bought it from "Roots" author Alex Haley.
The Museum of Appalachia has a number of African-American artifacts.
One of the most notable exhibits at the Museum of Appalachia is the Parkey Blacksmith Shop.
Another exhibit honors legendary folk artist Bessie Harvey.
Life-size statues of the Clinton 12 stand tall outside of the Green McAdoo Center. They are a symbol of the journey they had to take every day.
One story of bravery involving the Clinton 12 centered around Reverend Paul Turner.
A year before the Clinton 12 were allowed to attend Clinton High School, students up the road in Oak Ridge were making history by integrating into Oak Ridge High School and Robertsville Junior High.
They are known as the Oak Ridge 85.
There's no shortage of history and things to learn in Anderson County. The community continues to learn from the past while looking toward the future.