Exhibit at Reece to depict Tennessee civil rights sit-ins

Nashville sit-in

JOHNSON CITY (April 12, 2013) – “We Shall Not Be Moved,” a traveling photo and artifact exhibit developed by the Tennessee State Museum, will open at East Tennessee State University’s Reece Museum April 23 and continue until June 6.

“We Shall Not Be Moved” provides a close look at the role of Tennessee students in shaping the civil rights movement. 

“Although civil rights history rightfully focuses on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the stories of unsung heroes have remained largely untold,” according to a press release from the Tennessee State Museum.  “This exhibit lifts these important ‘foot soldiers’ into their rightful place in history, telling their story through relevant artifacts, powerful photographic images, and exciting audio-visual media.  Visitors will come away with an understanding of African-American life during Jim Crow that provided the background for the sit-ins, how students were recruited and organized for the purpose of non-violent protest, and how their efforts facilitated permanent social change.”

The exhibit is divided into four key areas: “Segregation and Resistance,” “Non-Violence Training,” “Sitting-In in Tennessee,” and “Direct Action and the Civil Rights Movement.”

Public programming to accompany the exhibit will occur throughout the spring.

“We Shall Not Be Moved” has traveled around the state since Feb. 1, 2011, when it opened at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center in Knoxville.

It is one of four exhibits that will be on display when the Reece Museum reopens April 23 after being closed for two years for an extensive, $1.7 million renovation project.  The other three are “Vanishing Appalachia,” an exhibit documenting disappearing mountain culture; newly commissioned paintings of ETSU by local artist Bill Bledsoe; and “Country Music in the Tri-Cities.”

The Reece Museum’s new hours will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.  Admission will be free.  Parking passes are available for weekday visits to the museum, and groups may call ahead for tour reservations.

For more information or special assistance for those with disabilities, call the Reece Museum at (423) 439-4392.

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