Townsend School: A Public History Project Transformation in Winchester, Tennessee

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Huffer, Emily Michelle
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Middle Tennessee State University
The landscape of the African American South has rapidly diminished. These communities congregated around their churches, schools, and cemeteries. They had to create their own spaces with their own agency in order to create their own sense of community within their allotted spaces. The goal of this thesis is to highlight the importance of spaces within the community and preserve them for generations to come, so that they will be preserved into the Black landscape. This project focuses on the Townsend School in Franklin County, Tennessee. This study is an excellent example of a Black community that has been overlooked by the White community and how it has flourished. By preserving memories, collecting artifacts, and serving as the heart of the community, the Townsend School still stands as a monumental feature for the community, shifting from being just an educational institution to a museum that holds the story of a community that is diminishing. This case study on the Townsend School will add to the history of historically Black communities in the South and provide an example to other public historians.
Franklin County, Rosenwald School, Tennessee, Townsend, Winchester, History, Black history