John Early Museum Magnet Middle Prep celebrated the 60th anniversary of desegregation in Nashville public schools with the opening of a new exhibit, “A Matter of Black and White,” on Friday, Sept. 22.
The exhibit was created by John Early students and explores Nashville’s journey into desegregation in September 1957. Student docents were stationed throughout the museum ready to share information with guests about the artifacts featured in the exhibit.
“A Matter of Black and White” begins with Plessy v. Ferguson, the landmark court case that upheld the notion that, “separate but equal,” was lawful. Attendees traveled through time learning about Jim Crow laws in Tennessee, the Women Change Makers who contributed to Brown v. Board of Education and desegregation in Nashville. Further exhibits highlighted what Nashville’s plan for desegregation looked like, the schools impacted, community reaction, the bombing of Hattie Cotton Elementary School and where the public education system stands today.
The exhibit is just one of several the school features in its museum facility every year. John Early boasts a collection of roughly 8,000 museum artifacts that are used in object-based lessons and exhibits. Curators and educators from more than 80 museums, historic sites, universities, businesses and organizations help teachers plan engaging lessons and learning expeditions, provide resources to use in the classroom, as well as sponsor student internships.
The museum is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:15 a.m.-4:15 p.m. It is also open on the first and third Saturday of every month from 12-3 p.m.
See pictures from the exhibit launch event below.