Civil Rights | Nashville Public Radio

Civil Rights

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Rip Patton was arrested in 1961. That's when he and a group of other college students drove from Nashville to Alabama to join the Freedom Rides, where they boarded Greyhound busses and attempted to use white-only lunch counters and bathrooms throughout the South.

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Worries about the safety of children as they travel to and from school has led to two new laws that go into effect Jan. 1 in Tennessee.

But state leaders also fear college students have been overly protected, a situation they've also decided to address with a new law.

They're among the measures that take effect as the calendar turns the page to 2018. Jan. 1 is one of the two dates Tennessee lawmakers typically choose for legislation to take effect.

Strong Inside Wallace Maraniss
Courtesy of Andrew Maraniss

A documentary about the Vanderbilt basketball star Perry Wallace, who integrated the Southeastern Conference, debuts Monday evening on campus. But the event has taken on a somber tone because Wallace died on Friday — just as his alma mater was marking the 50th anniversary of the breaking of a stubborn color barrier.

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The University of the South in Sewanee is relocating a 77-year-old memorial to a Confederate general, after determining there was little reason for the stone marker to stand at an intersection just off the school's main campus.

Rodney Dunning via Flickr

When members of white nationalist groups declared that they planned to rally in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro at the end of the month, some asked how the cities could allow such a thing.

Thomas R Machnitzki / Via Wikipedia

A panel of Tennessee lawmakers tasked with helping solve Civil Rights era crimes heard testimonies for the first time on Thursday.

The meeting illuminated the frequent challenges investigators face in reopening cases that went cold decades ago.

Adam Jones / via Flickr

Tennessee's unsolved civil rights crimes are getting a fresh look.

Legislators are asking lawyers to dig into the state's history of lynchings, firebombings and other racial violence perpetrated during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement. Some cases may even be recommended for prosecution.

Archive / Library of Congress

Sixty years ago, Bobby Cain became the first African-American man to graduate from an integrated high school in the South. Just one year prior, he and 11 other black students had enrolled at Clinton High School in East Tennessee. They became known as the Clinton 12.  

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Charlie Morris vividly recalls his brother's murder.

Jesse Lee Bond was a sharecropper in Shelby County. Suspicious because his harvests never seemed to cover his debts, in the spring of 1939, Bond asked the local general store for a receipt of his seed purchases.

For his diligence, he was shot, castrated, dragged and left for dead in the Hatchie River.

Erin Logan / WPLN

Four tall concrete walls now stand in the park in front of Nashville’s city hall.

Photographs depicting the city’s Civil Rights history are printed and embossed on the new public art project. The artwork was unveiled Friday, during the week of the 57th anniversary of the bombing of the home of a Nashville civil rights attorney.

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