Finding Community

Lincoln Rosenwald School
Lincoln Rosenwald School, Pikeville, Bledsoe Co., 1930. Center for Historic Preservation. Full Record

The separate church meetings and private educational activities of free and enslaved African American Tennesseans prior to formal emancipation turned into a groundswell in the immediate post-War period. As Catholics and Jews, and Swiss, German, and Irish immigrants would also, African American leaders emerged in rural and urban locations and founded schools, churches, and fraternal aid organizations.

Scholarly Essay

Black Higher Education in Tennessee by Crystal deGregory

Lesson Plan

Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Tennessee


Segregated African American cemeteries were a fact of life in the post-Civil War American South. They still exist by the hundreds across the southern landscape. ...More.

Benevolent Cemetery SignZion Christian Cemetery SignIron sign for Mt. Ararat Cemetery, an African American cemetery in Nashvillecitizens cemeteryGolden Hill CemeteryMt. Olivet Cemetery TombstonesOdd Fellows CemeteryJarnigan & Son, undertakers Mother Eliza DentonIda Patt, gravestoneDabney family monument, facing northwest Sgt. Cornelius Sykes, 14th U. S. C. T., gravestone


Fraternal and benevolent lodges were often important institutions in African American as well as in ethnic immigrant communities. ...More.

Warfield Masonic Lodge, Clarksville, TNAdvertisement, published in the Nashville Globe 18 June 1909, for a picnic held by the Purity Lodge No. 42 of the Knights of Pythias.Grand Lodge UBF and SMT at Shorter Chapel AMEFaith Hope and Charity SocietyAdvertisement, published in the Nashville Globe 30 April 1909, for an entertainment held by the Lightfoot Lodge No. 17 of the Knights of Pythias.Keblah Temple #78

Religious Institutions

The churches, with their significant roles in religion, education, politics, music, and ethnic identity, served as the cultural hearts of rural black communities. ...More

Rock of Ages CME ChurchChurch of Christ, Jefferson StreetFirst Baptist Church, Beale StreetFairfield Four and Southernaires Female Quartet performance placardJulius Freed HouseSt Mark's Presbyterian ChurchMt. Zion AME ChurchHandbill for an integrated performanceFirst Baptist Church East NashvilleFirst Baptist Church LauderdaleFredonia Baptist ChurchPikeville Chapel AME Zion Church Campbell Chapel AME Ryman AuditoriumSacred Heart Temple Adas IsraelMax SamfieldQuarter-century anniversary of Dr. Lewinthal celebrated


If the Pikeville church or Beth Salem church looked like the unadorned one-room schools located across the countryside, there was a good reason:  they were schools during the week and churches on the weekends. ...More.

Griggs Hall, American Baptist CollegeFort Cooper School, Hickman CountyLincoln Rosenwald SchoolLincoln Rosenwald SchoolAnderson Hall, Located on the campus of Maryville CollegeJubilee Hall, located on the campus of Fisk UniversityJames A. Henry and graduating classRoger Williams University, Nashville, TN, academic classSitka School in Gibson CountyMain Street School, ChattanoogaKnoxville College Normal SchoolDunbar School,Loudon CountyDoe Creek School, Henderson CountyKnoxville College students, including two sons of President McCulloch Steele Hall, LeMoyne-Owen CollegeFlagg Grove SchoolTurner Normal School adFree Hill SchoolYork InstituteAustin High School groupKnoxville College chemistry buildingAaron Douglas Mural in Cravath Hall, Fisk UniversityAaron Douglas mural above the door, Cravath HallScience, from an Aaron Douglas mural in Cravath LibraryDrawing of exterior of Fisk LibraryFisk University Library (Cravath Hall)Austin High School Women's Basketball TeamAddison Avenue looking north at Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, showing Jubilee Hall, Fisk Memorial chapel, and the Daniel Hand Model SchoolTomorrow's GenerationTrenton Rosenswald SchoolCommunity School PlanKnoxville College, original buildingLeMoyne Normal Institute, Professor L.T. Larsen, Principal, Memphis, Tennessee, 1908-1909Lemoyne Normal Institute Graduating ClassElementary Certificate for Ada M. AtemanLeMoyne College Library, Steele Hall