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Digital Teaching Collections (Special Collections)

This research guide highlights primary sources and research materials in Special Collections for English 102 students.

Social Movements

Civil Rights from the 19th Century through the Early 20th Century

The Emancipator, Volume 1, Number 1. 

black and white photograph of the gem theatre in knoxville.

The Gem Theatre, at Vine and Central in Knoxville, TN was one of two African American theatres in Knoxville during the segregationist period of 20th century. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Published in Jonesborough, Tennessee, by Elihu Embree, the Emancipator was the first newspaper in the United States “to advocate the abolition of slavery, and to be a repository of tracts on that interesting and important subject” (Vol.1, No.1). The first issue appeared on April 30, 1820. The previous year, as a member of the Manumission Society of Tennessee, Embree published the weekly, Manumission Intelligencer, which printed local news as well as news about the Society. The Emancipator was distributed widely outside of Tennessee, and when publication ceased upon Embree’s death in October 1820, circulation had surpassed 2,000. From the Emancipator Digital Collection. 

Summary of Students at the University of Tennessee Campus 1900-1901 up to February 13

A faceted summary of student enrollment during the 1900-1901 academic year at University of Tennessee (especially noting that of women and African-Americans), and also of other related administrative aspects. From the Charles W. Dabney Jr., Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

Colored Department of the University at Knoxville College

Document detailing all the factors related to the existence of the University of Tennessee "Colored Department", or "Industrial Department", at Knoxville College, and the management of that department. From the Charles W. Dabney Jr., Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

How the National Advancement for the Advancements of Colored People Began

A pamphlet describing the formation of the NAACP. It contains a reprint of an article written by Mary White Ovington in 1914. There is no publication date on the pamphlet. To find more materials from and about the NAACP, please click this link. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

A Woman's Lie and Reckless Journalism

This flyer is "A Woman`s Lie and Reckless Journalism," and subtitled, "This Combination Has Killed How Many Innocent Negroes In the Last Thirty-five Years?" It includes newspaper clippings surrounding an investigation into an alleged break-in and assault by a black man, which was later proved to be a made up story. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Defense Of The Negro or A Review of the "Commercial's Appeal's" attack on the Negro. 

A pamphlet written in response to a racist editorial in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The editorial claimed that "negro suffrage was a failure." This pamphlet contains the original article, as well as the rebuttal to the original article. Rev. J.H. Grant was pastor of Avery Chapel A.M.E. Church in Memphis, TN. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.


Civil Rights from the Middle to Late 20th Century

History of Segregation at U.T., to Roy H. Beeler, October 17, 1942

Letter discussing the effect of Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada for admission to the University of Tennessee's law school for African Americans. From the C. E. Brehm, University of Tennessee Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

Correspondence with the Attorney General's Office, to Dr. C. E. Brehm, July 1, 1948

Letter stating that admission to the University of Tennessee Law school cannot be given to African Americans. From the C. E. Brehm, University of Tennessee Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

black civil rights activists protest for better education and jobs, while white protesters hold signs claiming black people have illegitimate children.
Black civil rights activists march while segregationists protest, on Main Street in Memphis, Tennessee. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Meeting in Governor Browning's Office, June 5, 1950

Meeting discussing conversation between E. A. Waters and Jean Gray on the University of Tennessee's policy on admitting students of color. From the C. E. Brehm, University of Tennessee Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

Statements re. Segregation, to Dr. C. E. Brehm, March 19, 1952

Inflammatory letter on the University of Tennessee's decision to accept African American students. From the C. E. Brehm, University of Tennessee Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

Special Committee of U.T. Board in Segregation and Negro Case, A. L. Jackson, April 9, 1953

Letter outlining the admission requirements for African Americans. From the C. E. Brehm, University of Tennessee Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

Committee Report on Admission of Blacks, April 24, 1956

Press release outlining plans for the gradual admission of African American students to the University of Tennessee. From the C. E. Brehm, University of Tennessee Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

Requests of Negroes for Rooms in Residence Halls, to Gretchen L. Bundy, June 5, 1956

Response letter informing African American student that she will need to find private housing. From the C. E. Brehm, University of Tennessee Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

Gov. Frank Clement on Integration, January 9, 1957

Speech on racial integration. From the C. E. Brehm, University of Tennessee Office of the President Records Digital Collection. 

Black civil rights activists march while segregationists protest

Black civil rights activists march while segregationists protest, on Main Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Ca. 1960. From the Memphis Civil Rights Photograph Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Where does your money go?

This is a flyer attacking the Urban League as anti-White. It shows what the Urban League is doing with tax-payers` money, and supports `race-mixing` in jobs, schools, etc. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.


Clinton High School

After the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Clinton High School was ordered to desegregate with deliberate speed in the Fall of 1956, the first among all of Tennessee's public schools. The desegregation of Clinton High School was marked by (rightful) fears of violent protests, spurred on by white supremacists, causing the National Guard to be called in for two months. The 12 black students who attended Clinton High School became known as the Clinton 12. In 1958, an estimated number of 75-100 sticks of dynamite were placed throughout the high school, severely damaging the school building, yet somehow managing not to physically harm anyone. 

Street scene of a group of African-American students walking to the newly integrated Clinton High School in Anderson County, Tennessee.
Street scene of a group of African-American students walking to the newly integrated Clinton High School in Anderson County, Tennessee.

National Guardsmen at Clinton High School

National Guardsmen march down the street past Clinton High School. Ca. 1956. From the Clinton High School Desegregation from the Knoxville Journal Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

 

National Guardsmen outside Clinton High School

National Guardsmen standing across the street from Clinton High School to protect the community against any violence. On verso side is written: "No Rioting Here Zone." From the Clinton High School Desegregation from the Knoxville Journal Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Students walking to Clinton High School

Street scene of a group of African-American students walking to the newly integrated Clinton High School in Anderson County, Tennessee. Reporters and photographers are on the scene. Ca. 1956. From the Clinton High School Desegregation from the Knoxville Journal Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Clinton High School after bombing

An estimated 75 to 100 sticks of dynamite exploded throughout Clinton High School in the early morning of Sunday, October 5, 1958, over two years after the integration of the high school. Despite the establishment of an FBI office in Clinton and a thorough investigation, no arrests were ever made in the case. Ca. 1958. From the Clinton High School Desegregation from the Knoxville Journal Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.


Sanitation Worker's Strike

The Memphis Sanitation Worker's Strike of 1968 resulted out of the terrible working conditions (in addition to the minuscule wages) that resulted in the deaths of many, but most notably Echol Cole and Robert Walker, whose deaths were caused by the city's refusal to replace defective working equipment. The strike lasted nearly two months, from about mid-February through Mid-April, and is most notably remembered for the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. after he traveling to Memphis to support the sanitation workers and their strike. Additional strikes had to be threatened in order to force the City of Memphis to stand by their 1968 settlement. 

Curfew Violators

"Arrested curfew violators wait for paddy wagon." Ca. 1968. From the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection. 

Workers peacefully protesting with "I am a Man" sign during the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike with military vehicles following.
Workers peacefully protesting with "I am a Man" sign during the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike. National Guard on streets. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection

Rioting

Photograph of cops in gas masks appearing to beat a black man (possibly a protester) with a baton. Ca. 1968. From the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Police in Riot Gear

Police in gas masks and riot gear grabbing a black man (possibly a protestor). Ca. 1968. From the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Strikers and Scabs*

Sanitation Strikers confront scabs.* Ca. 1968. *Scab is sometimes used as a derogatory term for someone who is a strikebreaker, usually an individual who was not previously employed by a company, but instead hired after or during an ongoing strike to keep the organization running. From the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection. 

Strikers

Strikers marching down a street boasting signs about boycotting, jobs, and justice for sanitation workers. Ca. 1968. From the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Protestors

Protestors with picket signs. Photograph of the same protestors from below but from a different angle. Ca. 1968. From the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Protestors (2)

Looking east on Beale street. Photograph of the same protestors from above but from a different angle. Ca. 1968. From the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike Collection in the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Additional Images from the 1968 Sanitation Workers Strike Collection.


Civil Rights in the turn of the Century (1990s-2000s)

I think I Klan

Political cartoon about the Klu Klux Klan bringing racial discrimination and hate that dominated 20th century social ideologies into the 21st century. From the Charlie Daniel Editorial Cartoon Collection.

Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights Survey: An Analysis

An 1977 analysis by the Children's Defense Fund of the Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights Survey conducted by the federal government in 1966. From the Children's Defense Fund Digital Collection. 

Grace To Lead Our Children Home: The Crisis Facing Black Children

This document explores the challenges faced by black youth in today's society and how those challenges have resulted in a rise in the number of minority youth caught up in the justice system of our country. From the Children's Defense Fund Digital Collection. 

Facing the Facts: A Progress Report on Ohio's Black Children

This report provides information and data on the status of black children in Ohio. It offers recommendations for public policy and private action on behalf of Ohio's black children and families. From the Children's Defense Fund Digital Collection. 

Progress and Peril: Black Children in America

This book gives facts on the conditions of African American children in America. From the Children's Defense Fund Digital Collection. 

Women's Suffrage

The selected resources below contain materials regarding women's suffrage in the United States, with a heavy focus on women's suffrage in Tennessee and the greater regional area of the south. For southerners, women's suffrage was a particularly controversial topic as it was not just intrinsically tied to fears of the potential destruction of the male-dominated society of the United States, but also heavily interwoven with fears that women's right to vote (which would be extended to black women as well) would lead to the destruction of the centralized white power. Women's suffrage, therefore, became a fight to preserving the (masculine) white power and "greatness" that had defined the American identity and experience up until this point. 

Pro-Women Suffrage Materials

Feminism, a cartoon

Political cartoon ca. 1915-1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

an image of an eagle representing strong character, trapped in a jail cell consisting of female ignorance, conservatism, and masculine ignorance and conceit.
Illustration titled, "Feminism, a cartoon." Ca. 1915-1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Please!

Political cartoon from New York World showing a young woman suffragist asking Colonel Tennessee, the rustic older gentleman often used to represent Tennessee, for a special session of the Tennessee Legislature for the ratification of the 19th Amendment for women's suffrage. Ca. 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

With my Compliments, Madam

Political cartoon showing Colonel Tennessee, hat held in one hand, offering a woman the ballot box with his other hand. Ca. 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Lest We Forget

Political cartoon showing Colonel Tennessee offering the ballot to a young woman representing 'suffrage.' Behind them are sketches of the faces of many of the women who fought for women's suffrage, including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Dr. Anna Shaw.  Ca. 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Southern Chivalry Isn't What It Used to Be

Political cartoon showing an elegantly dressed Colonel Tennessee offering a chair (suffrage ratification) to an young woman representing woman suffrage. He pulls the chair from under her as she sits, and she tumbles to the ground. Ca. 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

An Annoying Delay

Political cartoon showing the dress of a young woman representing Universal Suffrage getting caught in the closed door of the Tennessee Legislature. Ca. 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

a photograph taken of the tennessee senate chamber at the moment that votes to ratify the 20th amendment were being counted.
Women's Suffrage Ratification in the Tennessee Senate Chamber. Ca. 1920 From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Women's Suffrage Ratification in the Tennessee Senate Chamber

This photograph from the "Ratification Issue" of the Nashville Tennessean shows the Senate chamber at the moment that clerk counted the historic vote on women's suffrage. With this vote, Tennessee became the 36th and deciding state to approve the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Ca. 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Febb E. Burn in Niota, Tennessee to Harry T. Burn in Nashville, Tennessee

This is the famous letter written by Harry Burn`s mother to her son in the Tennessee state legislature in which she urges him to vote for women`s suffrage. At a special session of the Tennessee Congress, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment in order for it to become law. Harry Burn cast the deciding vote, breaking a tie of 48 to 48. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection. *insert transcription*

The Woman`s Bible by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Article written about Elizabeth Cady Stanton's book, The Woman's Bible, a best-seller which challenged the Christian church's claim that women should be subservient to men. The controversial novel was denounced by Susan B. Anthony as she feared that its radical ideas would hurt the cause for women's suffrage.  From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Anti-Women's Suffrage Material

Taking It Back

Political cartoon which illustrates the constitutional controversy that ensued after the Tennessee legislature ratified the 19th Amendment. A teacher with a desk labeled "National Woman Suffrage" has her partially eaten apple, labeled "Ratification," stolen by a misbehaving boy from Tennessee, who exclaims, "I didn't give it to ya ta keep!" Behind the teacher, there is a Roll of Honor of the 36 states which had already ratified the 19th Amendment.  Number 36, Tennessee, is crossed out.  Ca. 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

a pamphlet outlining why women's suffrage will threaten the white social order of america. Transcript available through the link below.
Beware! The Negro and the New Social Order. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Better Let Her Have It All!

Political cartoon showing a donkey, representing the Democratic Tennessee Legislature, and Columbia, representing women, struggling over suffrage.  Ca. 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Josephine A. Pearson, Mrs. James S. Pinkard and a Confederate veteran

Scrapbook page containing a photo of Anti-suffragists with a Confederate veteran at their headquarters at the Hermitage Hotel in August 1920. The caption reads: "Truth crushed to the Earth will rise again."  August 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Negro Woman`s Resolutions for Enforcement of Federal Suffrage Amendments

This two-sided broadside, compiled by the Southern Women`s League for the Rejection of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, presents race-based arguments against the ratification of the 19th Amendment.  From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

a cartoon showing a chicken forcing a rooster to do her job of sitting keeping eggs warm as a metaphor for women's suffrage feminizing america

A political cartoon from an article titled America When Feminized. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Women's Protest Against Women's Suffrage

This typed petition, stamped by the Tennessee Anti-Suffrage Association, enumerates the reasons for their opposition to women`s suffrage. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Warning! 

An except from a newspaper written by Southern Women's League for the Rejection of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment and the National Association Opposed to Women's Suffrage claiming that the anti-suffrage movement has not been paid off or accepted money from any liquor or brewery interest. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Suffragettes and Suffragettism

an ass representing the democratic tennessee legislature and woman, Columbia, fight over suffrage, with the caption "better let her have it all!"
Better Let Her Have It All!  Ca. 1920. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Written by a Nashville physician and suffrage opponent after the National American Woman Suffrage Association met in Nashville in 1914, this anti-suffrage pamphlet contains Lyon`s opinions of the suffragettes and his rationalization for limited suffrage and political involvement for women.  From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

America When Feminized

This article published by Southern Women's League for the Rejection of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment argues that women voting will emasculate  America by turning American men into "sissies."  From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Beware! The Negro and the New Social Order

An article warning white men about how women's suffrage will extend to black women, introducing a new social order, which includes social equality and intermarriage (between whites and blacks). From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

The Truth about the Negro Problem

An article published by the Southern Women's League for the Rejection of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment highlights anti-suffragette fears that women's right to vote will lead to black domination in the polls and subsequent political domination over America. From the Volunteer Voices Digital Collection.

Ali Heming oral history, July 20, 2017Still from Ali Heming's oral history.

This oral history discusses Ali Heming's experience at the University of Tennessee, her involvement in organizing the OUTstanding conference, and her experiences visiting the Pride Center as a graduate student. Heming also describes her reactions to the defunding of the University of Tennessee's Pride Center while working at East Tennessee State University and what it meant to be a person in the LGBTQ+ community in Johnson City. 

Gay Rights Promoted

1988 Volunteer Yearbook feature on gay rights activist Karla Jay's talk at UT, sponsored by the Women's Coordinating Council.  

Full Digital Collections

Below are links for the full digital collections which contain material on Social Movements. For information on how to search these digital collections, please refer to the section on Searching Digital Collections.  

Civil Rights

C. E. Brehm, University of Tennessee Office of the President Records, 1948-1959

Selected material from the C.E. Brehm (1889-1971) President of the University of Tennessee Papers from 1946 to 1959. Among the subjects represented in his collection are athletics, student organizations, university property acquisitions, and desegregation. 

Charles W. Dabney

This collection covers some of Dabney's achievements as university president (1887-1904) including admitting the university's full time first female students, beginning the Summer School of the South, and doubling the size of the faculty. 

The Emancipator

This collection is a 1932 facsimile of the original publication created in Jonesborough, Tennessee by Elihu Embree in 1820.  The Emancipator was the first newsletter in the U.S. solely devoted to the abolition of slavery. 

Volunteer Voices 

This collection provides access to digitized primary sources documenting the history and culture of Tennessee.  Significant events, like the Trail of Tears, World War I, and the Civil Rights Movement, are presented in this collection from the perspective of Tennesseans. 

Voting Rights

Volunteer Voices

Volunteer Voices provides access to digitized primary sources documenting the history and culture of Tennessee. Significant events, like the Trail of Tears, World War I, and the Civil Rights Movement, are presented in this collection from the perspective of Tennesseans. 

LGBTQ+

Voices Out Loud Oral Histories 

The Voices Out Loud Project collects, preserves, and shares East Tennessee’s LGBTQ+ history and culture. This collection of oral history interviews offers first-hand accounts of LGBTQ+ people who live or have lived in East Tennessee.