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Research and Writing:   

        Kathy B. Lauder, TSLA Archival Technical Services


West Tennessee Research:

        John Marshall, Judicial Commissioner, Shelby County


Website Design:

        Ronald Peaks, Digital Work Group

Technical Assistance:

        TSLA Digital Work Group Staff:

             James V. Castro

             Karina McDaniel

             Ronald Peaks
             Joon Powell

             Todd Spainhour

             Todd Wallwork

        Robert Greene

        William M. Thomas





Staff Members, Tennessee State Library and Archives:

        Ann Alley, Archival Technical Services

        Darla Brock, Public Services

        Anita Coursey, Public Services                             

Susan Gordon, Archival Technical Services

Trent Hanner, Public Services

Kathleen V. Hartman, Library Technical Services

Kassie Hassler, Public Services

Marylin Hughes, Public Services

Ron Lee, Public Services

Vince McGrath, Legislative History

Dr. Wayne Moore, Assistant State Archivist

Charles Nelson, Public Services

Charlotte Reichley, Library Technical Services

John-Paul Richiuso, Public Services

Carol Roberts, Director, Preservation Services

David Ralph Sowell, Archival Technical Services

Dr. Gwyneth A. Thayer, Archives Development

Greg Yates, Archival Technical Services

Advocates and contributors


Tennessee State Librarians & Archivists:

Charles A. Sherrill, 2010-

Jeanne Sugg, 2005-2010

Dr. Edwin S. Gleaves, 1987-2005


State Officials:

        Secretary of State Tre Hargett, 2009-

        Secretary of State Riley Darnell, 1993-2009

        Representative Henri Brooks

        Representative Tommie F. Brown

        Representative Barbara Cooper

        Representative John J. DeBerry Jr.

        Representative JoAnne Favors

        Senator Thelma Harper

        Senator Douglas Henry

        Representative Steve McDaniel

        Former Speaker Jimmy Naifeh

        Representative Johnny Shaw


Staff Members, Department of State:

Blake Fontenay, Director of Communications

Robert Greene, Webmaster of Publications


Historians, Scholars, and Other Contributors:

        Yolanda Arnold, Executive Director, Office of Minority Affairs

        Russell Bailey, Tipton County Historian

        Roy W. Butler, sculptor of the Sampson Keeble bust, Tennessee State Capitol

Dave Clarke, Star Courier, Kewanee, Illinois

Ilene Jones Cornwell, author-historian

        Debie Cox, Metro Nashville Archives

        Dr. Wendell H. Cox, Sampson Keeble descendant

        Jeff Davidson, Videographer, WKRN-TV

Dr. Leonard E. Davis Jr., Sampson Keeble descendant

Irene Griffey, certified genealogist

        Norman Hill, Tennessee Historical Commission; Cracker Barrel Foundation

James A. Hoobler, Senior Curator of Art and Architecture, Tennessee State Museum,

        and Curator of the Tennessee State Capitol

Beth M. Howse, Librarian, Special Collections, Fisk University

        Dr. Robert E. Hunt, Department of History, Middle Tennessee State University

        Paul T. Kwami, Director, Fisk Jubilee Singers

        Liz Leonard, Executive Assistant to Representative John J. DeBerry Jr.

        Dr. Bobby L. Lovett, author; Tennessee State University History Department

        Helen Davis Mills, Sampson Keeble descendant

        Steve Morrison, Kewanee, Illinois

        LaDonna Nelms, Executive Assistant to Representative Tommie Brown

        John D. Nemoy, Esq., Curb Records, Inc.

C. Michael Norton, Esq., Bone McAllester Norton, PLLC.

Tim Pulley, Director, Brown Harvey Genealogical Room, Montgomery County Library

Mike Slate, publisher, Nashville Historical Newsletter

        Allyson Sneed, Executive Assistant to Representative Johnny Shaw

Ron Walter, President & General Manager, WREG-TV, Memphis

        Thomas E. Weeks, Legislative Librarian, Tennessee General Assembly

        Vanessa Williams, singer-actress (Thanks for putting us on the map!)

        Wendy J. Williams, Avon N. Williams family member

        Linda T. Wynn, Tennessee Historical Commission; Fisk University History Department



Permission to use the song “In Bright Mansions” from the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ 2004 Grammy-nominated album of the same name, has been granted by Curb Records, Inc., Nashville, TN.



Many thanks also to Bruce Hartford and the Civil Rights Movement Veterans  ( for sharing the voter registration forms and literacy tests from their valuable website – we are deeply grateful for their help and their permission to use this material here, as well as for their remarkable leadership and courage during a critical period of our nation’s history.



And finally, endless gratitude to trailblazing authors Dr. Joseph H. Cartwright, Murray State University (The Triumph of Jim Crow. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1976) and Dr. Richard A. Couto, Antioch University (Lifting the Veil. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1993) for your scholarship, wisdom, humor, and encouragement. The history world owes you a tremendous debt of gratitude.