Support Highlander Defend Its Historic Civil Rights Legacy
The legacy of the Highlander Center, an instrumental Civil Rights institution based in Tennessee, is under threat.
Highlander isn’t currently the steward of its original library location and land at 120 Old Highlander Lane, because segregationist lawmakers and law enforcement officials raided Highlander in 1959, levied trumped up charges against Highlander, and confiscated its land and assets in 1961.
More recently, the Tennessee Preservation Trust (TPT), known for its commitment to preserving Confederate landmarks and American Civil War history, bought the confiscated land and is now trying to list the property on the National Register for Historic Places.
For 90 years this instrumental Civil Rights institution has been a sanctuary for such towering Civil Rights figures as John Lewis, Rosa Parks, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Pete Seeger and Stokely Carmichael. Highlander’s history must be preserved by Highlander, not TPT.
A true nomination to the NRHP, a just and righteous recognition of Highlander's past and present, would include the call for restoration and would be spearheaded from the actual Highlander Center, whose legacy the listing will celebrate and preserve. Support the call to reject this current application for NRHP and to support Highlander’s fight for just reparations for the harm they have endured.