August 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of the
Franklin County public school system, and to commemorate this
milestone, the Sewanee Civic Association has commissioned an
historical marker to be placed on University Avenue at Sewanee
Elementary School. The text for the marker, which is found below, was
submitted to the Tennessee Historical Commission in July. The SCA received
approval in October.
As seen in the short historical text, it was due to the efforts of
Sewanee area families that final integration of the school system was
achieved. Most remarkable in the ultimate law suit that forced the
county to change its policies was that the plaintiffs petitioning for
equality were both white and black families working together. This was
exceedingly rare for that time. Additionally, the entire
community banded together to create a welcoming environment to ensure
all Sewanee children could be educated successfully together.
The SCA will hold a 50th anniversary celebration on Sunday, January
19, 2014 at 2 p.m., and all are invited and encouraged to attend.
The festivities will begin with several prominent speakers and
dedication ceremony at the actual site of the historical marker at
SES, and will conclude with a reception.
It is the hope to invite as many former Sewanee residents and families
who may be able to return to the Mountain during the long MLK holiday
weekend in 2014. Anyone with suggestions and/or
contact information for invitees are asked to contact the Sewanee Civic anniversary planning committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.