• Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
Memorial for Dr. Robert J. Booker
2024 Annual MLK Parade, March and Juneteenth Celebration

MLK Jr Parade and Juneteenth Celebration The annual parade, march and celebration will be held June 19, 2024. The event will begin with registration and lineup at Chilhowee Park, offering community members the chance to participate actively in this historic march. Parade Line Up begins at 8:30am, then we will step off at 10:00 am. The festivities will culminate at Dr. Walter Hardy Park, where the Juneteenth Celebration will commence at noon with a range of activities, performances, and educational opportunities.
Read More

Carla Jones breaks gender, color barriers at KFD

KFD Assistant Chief Carla Jones
Carla Renee Jordan Jones is one flat-out character you’ll never forget. This is a life-loving, family-loving, job-loving and sports-loving woman. For 30 years come December 2024, she’s been serving the city she loves – Knoxville – in a job she treasures. “For me going to work every day is like going to the playground.”

Her playground is the Knoxville Fire Department (KFD). Life for her is wrapped around family first, then her God and church, and then the KFD. Her office sits across the hall at KFD Headquarters from Chief Stan Sharpe. In June 2020 she was the first woman and the first-ever black woman to be promoted to the position of KFD assistant chief. In this role, she has key supervisory responsibility for logistics, recruiting and ISO ratings for fire insurance.
Read More

MLK Commemorative Commission Celebrates King Week Jan. 5-14

MLK Commemorative Commission
Celebrate King Week, a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s enduring legacy. Engage in a series of events leading up to the Martin Luther King Holiday, each echoing his message of unity, justice, and equality. Experience the rich tapestry of community gatherings, educational workshops, and vibrant parades. Culminate this inspiring week with our solemn Memorial Service, held on MLK Day, honoring the life and aspirations of one of history’s most influential leaders. Join in keeping the dream alive!
Read More

Library Gathers WBIR Videos to Develop Black History Collection

The Knox County Public Library’s Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS) preserves East Tennessee’s cultural history through film, video and audio. Underrepresented community stories found in their WBIR-TV news collection were gathered to make a Black History Collection more accessible. The collection includes just over 100 records in the Calvin M. McClung special collections catalog. Click here to read more about the project from KnoxTNToday.com.
View WBIR Black History Collection

The Middlebrook Legacy: We Celebrate Black History

Legacy Award honoree, civil rights activist, friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ordained minister, community leader and loving father—all titles rightfully attributed to the Reverend Harold Middlebrook. While Middlebrook has called Knoxville home since 1977, he was actually born in Memphis in 1942, he attended Morehouse College and Lemoyne-Owen College, and was ordained a minister in 1966. More than 10 years after his ordination, he moved to Knoxville to pastor at Mount Calvary Baptist Church.
Read More

BLK History Month poem by Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni If Black History Month is not
viable then wind does not
carry the seeds and drop them
on fertile ground
rain does not
dampen the land
and encourage the seeds
to root
sun does not
warm the earth
and kiss the seedlings
and tell them plain:
You’re as Good as Anybody Else
You’ve Got a Place Here, Too

From Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea, 2002

Remembering Knoxville's Pioneering Black Baseball Players

Rev. Renee Kesler shares information about the Negro League in baseball and Knoxville's team called the Knoxville Giants. The Giants ballplayers of the 1920s and '30s were memorable. With a new multi-use stadium coming to "The Bottom," history lovers say it's a great opportunity to share their stories and the experiences of other Knoxville African-Americans.
Read More

Knoxville History Project Art Wraps on Magnolia Avenue Celebrate Black Artists

As of a year ago, the four shiny metal utility boxes along Magnolia Avenue could best be described as "utilitarian." They were modern infrastructure upgrades, for sure, but no one probably would judge them to be aesthetically attractive. The large boxes were being used narrowly to house traffic-signal wiring and electronics - not as a means of merging art and interpretive local history of East Knoxville. The Knoxville History Project saw the potential for more.
Read More

Box wrap art by Charles Griffin

Street Named for Elston Turner, Sr.

Friends, family and fans welcomed and celebrated Knoxville native, legendary Austin-East Roadrunner, NBA player and beloved coach Elston Turner at a joyful reception on Monday, February 21, 2022. A street in the new Austin Homes neighborhood will be named for him and officially revealed in May.
Read more

Beck Cultural Exchange Center
Learn about the significance of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center from Rev. Renee Kesler.

History of Knoxville Urban Renewal with the Willow St. Project (The Bottom)

Video from the Beck Cultural Center describing Urban Renewal in Knoxville. The video focuses on the Willow Street Project (The Bottom) and the site of the newly proposed stadium for the Smokies baseball team.

 Click an image below to learn more
about Black History in Knoxville
Mayor, Vice Mayor, City Council and Politics
Daniel T Brown Gwen McKenzie Mark Brown Amelia Parker Politics in the Mid 1800s
Knoxville Fire Department (KFD)
Fire Department Luther Bradley Carla Jones
Knoxville Police Department (KPD)
Police Department Officer Henderson James Mason
Knoxville Area Transit (KAT)
KAT Geraldetta Dozier A seat for Rosa Parks Urban Renewal Display
2022 Black History Month Display at City County Building
The City celebrated  Black History Month on the 6th floor of the City County Building with a poster display of inspiring, influential, progressive and sometimes transgressive Black Americans. Black history is American history.

(Click each image below for a larger PDF file.)
Black History Month Display Black History Month Display Black History Month Display Black History Month Display Black History Month Display Black History Month Display
Noted Knoxvillians and Knoxville Connections
Rev. Harold Middlebrook Robert Booker Charles Cansler Beauford Delaney Nikki Giovanni Alex Haley Paul Hogue Cal Johnson W James Taylor Elston Turner
Beck Cultural Center African American Historical Series Knoxville History Project Visit Knoxville MLK Commission Odd Fellows Cemetery Green Book in Knoxville Civil Rights Act of 1964 Commemoration Voting Rights Act of 1965 Commemoration