NASHVILLE, TN—On Saturday, July 23, 2022, NashvilleSites.org launched its third driving tour entitled “Civil Rights Movement.” This driving tour includes sites like the sit-ins on Fifth Avenue (now Rep. John Lewis Way), the beginning of school desegregation at East Nashville High School, the bombing of lawyer Z. Alexander Looby’s house, and the site of the Centennial Park Swimming Pool. The tour experience can be customized—visit one or all the tour stops in any order. Take the tour in-person by driving to nearby locations or visit virtually using any device. Each stop has audio narration, a map, and historic images. Click here to get started: www.nashvillesites.org/tours/civil-rights-movement.
The Civil Rights Movement tour was researched and written by local Nashville experts Dr. Lea Williams (Tennessee State University), Dr. Brandon Owens (Fisk University), and Linda Wynn (Tennessee Historical Commission). Ms. Wynn, a graduate of TSU and retired Fisk professor, also narrates the tour. According to Dr. Mary Ellen Pethel, Nashville Sites Executive Director, “The Civil Rights Movement is such an integral part of Nashville’s identity yet so many residents and visitors don’t know the history beyond mention of marches and protests. The organizational and training work that happened here—by Diane Nash, Kwame Lillard, Matthew Walker Jr., John Lewis, Bernard Lafayette, James Lawson, C.T. Vivian, and so many others—made the sit-ins, sleep-ins, swim-ins, and Freedom Rides possible across the South.”
NashvilleSites.org offers 30+ free, self-guided walking and driving tours about Nashville history that can be taken virtually or in-person. Each tour features a map, historic and current images, written and audio narration, and metadata information for citation and credibility purposes. We work with scholars and experts to research and write the tours, and the website is mobile-friendly with no need to download an app to use on any device. This is all made possible by the project’s many stakeholders, including community members, private foundations, non-profit organizations, and local universities.
Our mission is to engage users through inspirational stories and images that connect the city’s past and present. Nashville Sites tours highlight the forgotten and lesser-known stories of Nashville, expanding upon the city’s traditional historical narratives. The team welcomes the challenge and opportunity to re-define the city’s written history. By making these stories easily accessible and free, NashvilleSites.org provides inspiring content that allows users to connect the past with the present.