Achieving Recognition

knoxville college nurses
Knoxville College nurses on hospital porch. Beck Cultural Exhchange Center. Full Record.

As post-agricultural Tennessee underwent the transition to a modern state, many African Americans pursued the academic and professional credentials that would position them as leaders in a new society. They became teachers, physicians, dentists, nurses, architects, morticians, cosmetologists, real estate and insurance brokers, and attorneys. They started businesses, invested in real estate, and founded professional organizations in solidarity with other like-minded citizens.

Scholarly Essay

Separation and Exclusion: Fisk University and the Arts by Reavis L. Mitchell, Jr.

Biographical Essay:

James Carroll Napier (1845-1940) by Linda T. Wynn

Interactive Map

Discovering African American Communities in the Nashville Globe

Lesson Plan

African American Medical Recognition

Media (Books, Newspapers, Magazines, Radio)

Those who founded vitally important African American newspapers, such as the Henry A. Boyd’s Nashville Globe and Randolph Miller’s Chattanooga Blade not only served local businesses by providing space for advertising but also joined readers to the national audience by disseminating news of vital interest. ... More.

Randolph MillerEast Tennessee News Press RoomChattanooga AdvocateNashville Globe Front PageThe Globe Publishing CompanyMaryville Republican NewspaperWochenblatt der Tennessee Staatszeitung National Baptist Publishing Board Max Samfield Jewish Spectator mastheadAlfred OchsChattanooga Daily TimesMr. W. L. Porter

Medical Profession

Public health received renewed attention after inadequate medical care and widespread disease in the Civil War. African Americans who wanted high quality care for their own people trained as physicians, nurses, and dentists. ...More.

Mercy Hospital in NashvilleWilson Infirmary in Nashville, an article from the Nashville GlobeDr. Emma Rochelle Wheeler and Nurses at Walden HospitalDrug Store AdDr. Boyd in Dental OfficeDr Boyd's dentist officeDr Henry Morgan GreenMeharry Graduate in Cap and GownHubbard HospitalHelen Mae Lennon Hospital record bookNashville Atlas, 1908Knoxville College HospitalKnoxville College nurses on hospital porchThe Knoxville Negro, journal coverTurn of the century doctorsTurn of the century nursesHubbard Hospital and Meharry Medical CollegeGeorgia E. Lee Patton

National Leaders

Whether bold by nature or empowered by education and opportunity, many African Americans in Tennessee rose almost immediately to national prominence. ...More.

Detail from J.C. Napier and two men at birthplace cabinRobert R. Church, Jr. and Congressman Oscar DePriestCertificate of Appointment, Governor W.G. Brownlow to J.C. NapierRace Relations ConferenceEvidences of the Progress of a RaceRobert R. Church, Jr., W.C.Handy, and Lt. George Lee  Lynch Law in All Its PhasesIda B. WellsChesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad Company v Ida B. WellsMary Church TerrellAlfred Ochs

Professional Organizations

Denied the opportunity to join white professional organizations, African Americans across the nation created their own organizations, and Tennesseans played a prominent role in many of them. ...More.

Beck, Green, Porter and Others, Carnegie Library, Knoxville, 1910sChauffers Ball AdThe Colored Chauffers ClubJames C. NapierLetter from Calvin McKissack to Thomas Elsa Jones, President of Fisk University National Negro Business League in SessionTeachers' Asso. big successCover, first issue of the Journal of the National Medical AssociationPress Ass'n closes 12th annual session