About the Musem

Our Mission

The Green McAdoo Cultural Center honors and preserves the legacy of the Clinton 12. We strive to educate the public on Clinton’s role in the history of desegregation and civil rights while making efforts of service, empathy, and collaboration to better our community.

1950s Period Classroom

Come in and join the class as Ms. Theresa Blair discusses the “Jim Crow” era in the South, the rights of her students at Green McAdoo, and desegregation of Clinton High School. She will introduce you to the local 1950 lawsuit, McSwain et al vs. Anderson County, and its relationship to the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education…all of which led to the desegregation of Clinton High School in 1956.

Desegregation of Clinton High School

Follow the chronologically detailed story of the 1956 desegregation of Clinton High School in life-size pictures with dramatic narrative.

The story begins with the community’s initial constructive approach to the historic event…then the arrival of outsiders with anti-integration propaganda… a week of growing violence… the formation of a home guard… the arrival of the national guard and martial law. Unlike the stories in Arkansas and Alabama, both the city and state governments supported the “Law of the Land”, represented by the desegregation ruling. The city’s white religious and economic leaders, such as the Rev. Paul Turner, a local Baptist minister, allied with the black students and their families, offering them protection in integration and challenging those they led to do the same in the face of rising violence. At one point, Rev. Turner was physically attacked for his heroic stand. The African-American community on Foley Hill became a rallying point for Clinton in the struggle for equal rights for all citizens. In retaliation, white supremacists bombed the high school in 1958, destroying the building, but not halting the progress of equality. Instead, the Anderson County community, citizens and students from Clinton and Oak Ridge refurbished an abandoned elementary school in Oak Ridge- and Clinton High School was back in session in one week, still integrated.

This documented history is not an independent account of Green McAdoo School, Clinton High School, the black community, the white community, or the Clinton 12, but the complete story of how all came together and became the success story that is deserving of preservation and national recognition.

Interactive screens will allow you to see the Clinton 12 and others in person and hear their recollections and reflections from interviews by Keith McDaniel, producer of the award winning Clinton 12: A Documentary, which was narrated by James Earl Jones.

Epilogue Room

In this room you can read the biographies of the Clinton 12 and others who played a role in the desegregation of Clinton High School. You can also watch the CBS broadcast of See It Now, entitled Clinton and the Law, narrated and produced by Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly, in January 1957, and a short sequel from CBS Reports which aired nationally in 1962.

Green McAdoo Community Board

Director

Adam Velk
avelk@clintontn.net
865-463-6500

Officers

J. Kelvin Cain, President
Jerry Shattuck, Vice-President
Unfulfilled, Secretary/Treasurer

Board Members

James Cain

Larry Gann
Steve Jones
Mattie Gallaher
Jessica Welch
Cleo Ellis
Nicole Cain                                  
Henrietta Caldwell
Tracey Wandell