Group reflects on Civil Rights

The Civil Rights Movement touched the lives of many Wilson County residents.
Jul 26, 2014

The Civil Rights Movement touched the lives of many Wilson County residents.

In honor of the movement that left such lasting results, the Wilson County Black History Committee will present “Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement” Saturday.

The afternoon commemorates the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Wilson County Black History Committee President Mary Harris said she was “looking forward to the big day.”

“We will be paying tribute to those in Wilson County who were there and also the Lebanon Clowns Negro League baseball team.”

The committee’s Chris Price Athletic Award will also be awarded.

A special lunch program will feature Linda Wynn, a Civil Rights scholar and lecturer at Fisk University and Assistant Director of State Programs with the Tennessee Historical Commission. She will discuss the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee and the nation at large.

“Lunch will be served at noon for a suggested donation of $25,” said Harris. “The speaker will begin around 12:30 p.m.”

Local Civil Rights Movement participants will also speak Saturday. Tours will be given of the three African-American buildings located in Fiddlers Grove, said Harris. Scheduled speakers include Ruth Wharton, who will be speaking and giving tours of the Wharton School building and Ethel Cartmell, who will be speaking on the Cartmell Cabin.

“Ethel Cartmell was born in the Cartmell Cabin,” Harris said.

The third building available for tours is the Wheeler School.

“We’re really excited,” said Harris. “It’s something our young people need to know.”

Harris said any attendees who have not visited the Fiddlers Grove area will have an opportunity, because the other buildings will be open as well.

On Friday, the committee held a candlelight vigil service at Pickett Chapel to remember the lives of those who died fighting for equality. Each person in attendance read the name of an individual who passed away during the movement.

Pickett Rucker United Methodist Church Pastor Michael Ruttlen, though not a native of the south, told the audience, “To sit amongst black and white together, I see how God has a way of showing us that we are better together than we are apart.”

Following the lighting of the candle “in remembrance of the light of the martyrs who gave their lives,” Pickett Rucker UMC’s choir performed a few Civil Rights anthems including “This Little Light of Mine.”

Harris invited the community to tour the historic chapel following Saturday’s program at Fiddlers Grove.

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