The space meant to share Nashville's role during the Civil Rights movement

Civil Rights Room
Posted at 6:14 PM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-24 21:59:24-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Every February, the country celebrates the achievements and history of Black Americans as part of Black History Month.

At the Nashville Public Library downtown visitors can learn about Black history all year long in their Civil Rights Room.

"A lot of people really still don’t know that this room is here," said Elliott Robinson Nashville Public Library Program.

Robinson said the Civil Rights Room was installed in 2003. He said the room focuses on two important movements during the 1950s and 60s, the desegregation of Nashville Public Schools and lunch counters.

"We deal with the history and facts. We’re not pushing anything except what exactly happened here, and these things did happen, and people need to know that," Robinson said.

Robinson is the one in charge of keeping these stories alive. He thinks it’s knowledge everyone should have, especially in an era where some political leaders want to erase Black history.

"I don’t know where this wave of desire to roll back the clock comes from, but we have to try and fight against that. Make sure people know what went on here and know how important Nashville was," Robinson said.

Whether you’re moved by the Martin Luther King Junior quote or overcome with emotions while sitting at the symbolic lunch counter, Elliott thinks it’s important to study this history 365 days a year.

"This is 60 years ago a little over 60 years ago. Some of these folks are still with us. If you don’t know your past you are doomed to repeat," Robison said.

The Civil Rights Room is a permanent exhibit at the library and is located on the second floor of the library downtown.

It is open whenever the library is.

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