Friday, December 04, 2009

The Clinton 12

Last night we hosted a movie night for our volunteers, aka, CASAs at the Green McAdoo Cultural Center. We thought it would be a good way for them to meet one another and also it could count for continuing ed hours for them. We watched The Clinton 12, which is a documentary about the first high school in the south to integrate its students. It happened in Clinton, TN - the town I work in. For some reason, many people in the area do not know about this historical event. Many others didn't hear about it until this documentary came out a couple years ago. One of our CASAs lived next door to one of the Clinton 12 for years but only ever heard him talk about it once.

The desegregation in Clinton in 1956 was a pretty big deal. Media came from all over, as did white supremacists. The high school was even bombed two years after the integration. It's so weird that this little town in East Tennessee was home to such historical events, but so many have no idea. Some of the Clinton 12 are still in the area, or their families are. The director of the Green McAdoo Cultural Center it is the younger sister of one of the students. She didn't even know about all the events until much later in life. One of our CASAs, who integrated her elementary school in Kentucky in the 1950s likened it to a war - like many veterans won't talk about their experiences, its the same for these students who integrated. They don't want to remember all of the horrible things that happened.

I'd recommend the documentary to everyone. I don't think you can get it on Netflix so that's an issue. PBS did show a shortened version recently so it might be available through their website.

1 comment:

Keith McDaniel said...

The full version (88 minutes) of THE CLINTON 12 is available for purchase for $20 at Glad you enjoyed the film.

Keith McDaniel