Black History Month

Mayor

Madeline Rogero
mayor@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2040

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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POLICE DEPARTMENT INTEGRATION
Knoxville Police Department Integrated Since 1882
Listen to Knoxville Police Chief Rausch Talk About Integration in KPD
FIRE DEPARTMENT INTEGRATION
First African-American Volunteer Fire Department Formed in 1868
Listen to Knoxville Fire Chief Stan Sharp Talk About Integration in KFD
POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT
African-American Political Engagement in Knoxville Dates Back to Mid-1800s
Listen to Knoxville's First African-American Mayor Daniel T. Brown
CAL JOHNSON
Cal Johnson, Knoxville's First African-American Millionaire
Listen to Historian & Civil Rights Activist Robert J. Booker Talk About Cal Johnson
ODD FELLOWS CEMETERY
Film Pays Tribute to Civil War Solders Interred in Odd Fellows Cemetery
Odd Fellows Cemetery Ribbon Cutting - 04/30/2012
LINKS OF INTEREST
Alex Haley Heritage Square
Beck Cultural Exchange Center
Black History Month Coloring Pages from KnoxNews.com
Cal Johnson Park | Cal Johnson Recreation Center
Knoxville Police Department Integrated Since 1882

After the Civil War, the Knoxville Police Department made history. It hired the City's first African-American police officer in 1882 - and continued to recruit and hire black officers, even at a time when it was virtually unheard of to have minority representation in the uniformed ranks. Moses Smith was the first African-American police officer in Knoxville, says Civil Rights pioneer and historian Robert J. Booker. Smith served on the Knoxville police force for several years before being appointed as a federal marshal. Additionally, Smith served on the City's Board of Aldermen in 1874 and again in 1878.
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Listen to Knoxville Police Chief Rausch Talk About Integration in KPD





First African-American Volunteer Fire Department Formed in 1868

In 1854, the first volunteer fire department in Knoxville formed with 100 volunteers. Fourteen years later, in 1868, William F. Yardley and William Luttrell formed a separate African-American volunteer fire department - and Yardley served as its first fire chief. However, while African-Americans have been protecting lives and property from fires in Knoxville for 149 years, they weren't paid and professionally trained by the City until the 1950s. And the City maintained segregated fire halls for another decade.
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Listen to Knoxville Fire Chief Stan Sharp Talk About Integration in KFD





African-American Political Engagement in Knoxville Dates Back to Mid-1800s

Knoxville City Councilman Daniel Brown has always embraced service - as a U.S. Army soldier in Vietnam in 1970, as a 22-year public servant with the U.S. Postal Service, and as an East Knoxville community leader. But on Jan. 10, 2011, he made Knoxville history. This was the day that Daniel Brown became Knoxville’s first African-American mayor.
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Listen to Knoxville's First African-American Mayor Daniel T. Brown






Cal Johnson, Knoxville’s First African-American Millionaire

A former Knoxville slave made rags-to-riches history in the early 1900s, becoming Knoxville’s first African-American millionaire. Caldonia “Cal” Fackler Johnson was born a slave on Oct. 14, 1844, in Knoxville’s Farragut Hotel. Both of Cal Johnson’s parents were born slaves, belonging to the McClung family at Campbell Station. 
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Listen to Historian & Civil Rights Activist Robert J. Booker Talk About Cal Johnson





Film Pays Tribute to Civil War Solders Interred in Odd Fellows Cemetery

Be sure and view this video, "The Cemetery of Life," by local filmmaker Siam J. Manuels with the Knoxville Re-Animation Coalition and others. The documentary tells the story of the Odd Fellows Cemetery in East Knoxville, the final resting place for 30 Civil War veterans who'd served in the 1st U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery unit. 
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