Author Topic: PAULRIDES Dec 14 - Green McAdoo Cultural Center (History Integration in Clinton)  (Read 250 times)

Offline PAULRIDES

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Dropped by McD before 9AM, Jackie was all ready there with the regular BS'ers.

I joined them for a breakfast snack and we departed at 9:30AM (warmer than I expected at low 40s all ready). Saw some 50Fs during the ride, but mostly 43F as a high getting to Clinton, TN for a visit at McAdoo Center.

By the way --- the center was a school for blacks before integration up to HS. HS black students were bused to Knoxville to a black HS. We were glad we visited McAdoo as it was a good reminder and review of the problems with achieving School Integration in 1956.

By the way, being an "old gezzer", 1956 was my SR Year in HS at Jackson, MO HS and integration occurred that year. Prior to that, blacks had separate grade schools and HS black students were bused to Cape Girardeau, Mo (10 miles + to the east).

Fortunately, integration occurred with no problems in Jackson (that I knew of or remember).That said, there was one minor  incident I witnessed when a white friend of mine since childhood was mouthing off to a black boy in the bathroom. Turned out that black boy was a friend (part of a family that I spent a lot of my late grade school years  playing with). There were 4 black families that lived surrounding a corner behind the Catholic Grade School playground (ball diamond). Several of us white boys use to go there to play ball, cowboy/indians, marbles, horseshoes, whatever, etc. Anyway, suffice to say that after some words between me and my white friend, nothing developed.

I had heard of the problems in Clinton, TN since moving here and was a bit surprised that an East TN Town would react  that way being they were Pro-Union on Civil War (well some were and some not). Guess, I did not really know the situation (it was a thing of the time and your location had a lot to do with your feeling - true today also).

Anyway, I lived thru those years and on into the civil rights movement but was not directly involved (I was in college in MO 1956 to 1960, and moved to CA in 1960 for 5 years). Of course things were on the news about the violence, busing, etc., but it was a distant thing and not on my agenda (SAD we are that way). I later went to Newport News Shipyard (1965) and was surprised to see separate bathrooms on the pier (not mandated, but blacks went to one and whites went to the other one). Just the  way it was - never gave it a thought. :-)

Anyway, I learned a lot today about what took place in Clinton. Folks there were mostly against integration (we are all indoctrinated by the views we grow up with from religion, politics, racism, and some never outgrow that mentality. I am not lecturing just saying.

Turns out the Clinton folks had accepted the fact of integration after the Supreme Court ruling (based on a desire for Law and order). Everything was going along smooth with students and town folks, until an outsider (White Supremacist, name of Kasper) showed up a couple days after integration started and began preaching against integration. He was able to raise up the what I call rednecks with strong racial views. Seeing one of his speeches in a film at the McAdoo Center was and should be disheartening to any decent human being.    

Anyway, it's a long story that had a period with much violence and demonstrations.  A home guard was formed by the decent people of Clinton, later the national Guard Arrived. Order was restored and integration was accomplished.

Later yet, there were a number of bombings of schools (HS for one), black homes, that resulted in an old abandoned school being cleaned up and reopened in a 3 day time period with even the students helping to restore the building and help from Oak Ridge, TN also. Fortunately, there were more decent people than not. A number of the leaders of the demonstrations were prosecuted by the Fed's.

Just saying -- recommend seeing the place and be sure to sit in on the movie in the last room (it tells the story).

PICTURE Story  -- Start with the Green McAdoo Cultural Center visit. Statues of he 12 in picture below.

Green McAdoo School -- it was an elementary school and now is the McAdoo Center.

Sit in a class room to start the tour with a short 7 minute movie. Funny seeing us Ol Rascals getting In and Out of those desks.

Teachers always give you their name first day of class.

Wondering into the next room, there is much reading material regarding the event of Integration. I have tried to put it in order -- to give an idea of what took place. Basically, things were going along OK with the students and local folks (some of course rebelled against the idea and made comments, dropped out of school rather than set with blacks - I call them Rednecks, there are good and bad rednecks you know). :-) Then Kasper (White Supremacist arrived  to stir things up).

The days of integration.

That be the White Supremacist - tall guy on right with arm raised. See his speech in the film in the back room (it's disgusting).

Kasper (White Supremacist) instigated.

Am I wrong or is that a matronly woman on the left front fender. 

Home Guard formed to stop the violence and demonstrators.  

Note: the Reverend (local baptist preacher) was attacked by a MOB after he helped escort some black students to the school.

The National Guard comes to the rescue.

A month later mind you --- Bombings. They never found out who did it. I say Bad Rednecks.

Everyone helped to restore an old abandoned school to use for HS Classes after the HS was bombed.

Integration was accomplished in the end. (or has it??)
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline PAULRIDES

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It's a long film -- interviews and history of the integration event. Worth nit in my and Jackie's opinion.

PICTURE Story

First -- the principal of the HS who was threatened, his family threatened, etc. Can't imagine being in such a situation.

Pretty normal looking downtown of a decent town (well most as typical of the time were against integration, but most were also Law & Order Folks - except the bad Rednecks).

Normal HS Life --- Basketball game, Cheer leaders, Students at the game (memories).

Integration in progress.

The White Supremacist, Kasper, doing his speech (forget the name of his organization, probably about like the ones now -  patriotic sounding name).

Burning Crosses --- does that have some religion semblance for those redneck groups?

A black girl student was in some interviews along with her father. She completed a year at Clinton HS, but the Father decided after 24 years of residency to move to CA (an interview about that decision is in the film).

THE RIDE in a PICTURE Story  Going to McAdoo in Clinton, TN

Crossing the river at Clinton.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 09:36:11 am by PAULRIDES »
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline PAULRIDES

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The trip home was shortened because of the amount of time we spent at McAdoo. Had planned to include Devil Triangle and a route via Coal Hill Rd, to Hwy 27, to Clax gap, to Hwy 95, to Hwy 70, to Pellissippi to home.

Skipped Devil Triangle after doing Walden Ridge (gravel) and when we got to Oliver Springs, we stopped at HARDEE'S for a break.

Jackie needed a break as he had a slow speed spill on a gravel, steep, switchback on Walden Ridge. After the break we decided to just head home as it was like 2:15PM. Went via Oak Ridge, Pellissippi, etc.

PICTURE Story

Took a back way out of Clinton from McAdoo to miss downtown. Headed for Sulphur Spring Road.

Sulphur Spring Rd is GOOD. Takes you to Johnson Gap (a wooden RR Bridge Overpass) and then to Dutch Valley Rd.

Reached Dutch Valley and headed for Walden Ridge (gravel about 6 miles over a MTN). Discussed with Jackie if he wanted to do it, might be able to do Devil Triangle also, but time was getting late. We did Walden Ridge or it did Jackie. :-( Gravel varied from packed to loose on surface -- a good deal was loose, not deep just loose on surface).

Turned here to head over the Mtn (Walden Ridge Rd). That be the Mtn ahead.

First part is paved --- turns to gravel on the switchback ahead. (take it easy there as some gravel on the pavement)

Good view on south slope -- Bull Run Steam Plant (see the stack).

Started down the north side of the MTN here.

I had made it around a second switchback (see road above) and was waiting to see if Jackie was behind me. He did not show up in a reasonable time, so I turned back. He lost it on the switchback above the one where I stopped. Never know for sure what happened when it happens - looked like he cut it tight, then got headed wide and hit front brake to keep from going over the cliff (front wheel slid out).

Anyway, I got back and good thing was he was standing up, bad part was bike was laying down (no major damage, a few scratches). We stood it up and nursed it down the switchback a bit so he could get on it. Then I took this picture and turned mine around and away we went.
Picture taken looking down the MTN just a bit down from where he landed. DANG good thing he did not go over the edge.

We reached Hwy 330 off of Walden Ridge Rd (it Jcts with hwy 330). We decided to skip Devil Triangle and head for Oliver Springs. Had our last break (coffee for both, burger for Jackie, Apple and orange for me).

Took a bypass off of Houston School House to Wildwood (getting close to home here).

Then from Wildwood, took another bypass to Hwy 411 for final run to Seymour.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 09:47:22 am by PAULRIDES »
Ride Country Roads - a lot. :-)

Offline Chris

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Okay, the McAdoo School is on my "must see" list now.  Thanks Paul, that's impressive.
CHRIS
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