A Most Tolerant Little Town

with Dr. Rachel Louise Martin
East Tennessee History Center
Monday, September 18, 2023 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

When most Americans think about the history of school desegregation in this country, they think of Little Rock, Arkansas and the nine students that attended Little Rock Central High School in 1957. However, there is a lesser known story, the one of Clinton, Tennessee. In September 1956, Clinton High School became the first school in the former Confederacy to undergo court mandated desegregation. Join historian and author Dr. Rachel Louise Martin as she weaves together accounts of students, parents, teachers, and administrators to reveal this Civil Rights story which is little known regionally as well as nationally. Her book, A Most Tolerant Little Town, serves as a poignant reminder of the steep cost of trying to rewrite history and the heavy burden on those at the front lines of movements for justice.  

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

About the Author

Rachel Louise Martin, PhD, is a historian and writer whose work has appeared in outlets like The Atlantic and Oxford American. The author of Hot, Hot Chicken, a cultural history of Nashville hot chicken, and A Most Tolerant Little Town, the forgotten story of the first school to attempt court-mandated desegregation in the wake of Brown v. Board, she is especially interested by the politics of memory and by the power of stories to illuminate why injustice persists in America today. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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