Learn about the contributions of African Americans to Nashville and Tennessee history

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Posted at 3:41 AM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 09:16:29-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On Friday, February 11, join Tennessee State University’s College of Liberal Arts and the Metropolitan Historical Commission for a celebration of the contributions of African Americans to Nashville and Tennessee history.

The annual Nashville Conference on African American History and Culturewill be presented virtually for the second time in the event’s four-decade history.

For 41 years, this award-winning conference has brought together historians, students, educators, community leaders and others interested in African American history and culture.

This year’s conference theme “Pioneers, Politics, and Preservation,” will highlight the multitude of social, political and academic initiatives through which African Americans have shaped the history of Nashville and Tennessee.

The half-day online conference will feature seven historical presentations, covering a wide range of topics including African Americans and sociology, Nashville’s Negro Baseball Leagues, Nashville City Cemetery, hot chicken history, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, restoration at Fisk University, and race in electoral politics.

Additional content includes remarks from Mayor John Cooper, a virtual tour of the National Museum of African American Music, and entertainment from Tennessee State University’s Meistersingers and Soul Fire poetry group, with a spoken word performance from local artist Sommer Jade Adwaters.

Conference co-founder Linda T. Wynn of the Tennessee Historical Commission said when you go back and look at history you can kind of see how society repeats things.

She thinks it's critically important for Nashville and Tennessee’s African American history to remain at the forefront of public consciousness.

“History is not necessarily a prognosticator. But you've heard the phrase, people are doomed to repeat it. And if you don't know it, you don't know what you're repeating or why you are repeating. It may be for a different reason," Wynn said.

Wynn adds, as much history as you learn there's still much more to garner with the African American heritage, which is a part of American history.

She said you can do so any time of the year.

“To me, African American history takes place every day. I know a lot of people say oh it is the shortest month in the year and that's the reason it was chosen. That is not the reason it was chosen. It was chosen because the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass happened to fall in February. That's the reason is celebrated in the month of February," Wynn explained.

The Nashville Conference on African American History and Culture will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m on Friday, February 11, 2022.

The cost for registration is $20 and includes discounted admission to the National Museum of African American Music.

For more information on the 2022 conference and to register, click here.

Contact the MHC at 615-862-7970 with any questions or for further details.