Downtown Walking Tour Of African-American Historical Sites Is Wednesday

Thursday, August 9, 2018

National Park Partners will host a guided tour of African-American historical sites around downtown Chattanooga beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. The walking tour project is part of a “Centennial and Beyond” grant received by National Park Partners from the National Environmental Education Foundation, designed to bring National Park Service programming into underserved communities following the 100th Anniversary of the Park Service in 2016. The Centennial and Beyond grants, made possible by The Kendeda Fund, support projects that build the capacity of organizations such as National Park Partners to engage and steward diverse audiences that are reflective of their park units’ surrounding communities.

The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and proceed through Miller Plaza and along Georgia Avenue, with the final destination being the Walnut Street Bridge and the future site of the Ed Johnson Memorial. Through a donation from Chattanooga Casino Shuttles, participants will receive a complimentary shuttle ride back to the Bessie Smith Cultural Center at the conclusion of the tour.

"The research for this project has uncovered many layers of African-American history in Chattanooga’s downtown, history that is deeply woven into the fabric of our city,” said Tricia Mims, executive director of National Park Partners. “It’s been a challenge to narrow down the multiple stories that could be told into a manageable walking tour program.” 

Former history teacher and project researcher Andy Mims will lead the tour, along with Ranger Chris Barr from Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. The tour is expected to last approximately two hours and will be held rain or shine. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather, with casual attire and comfortable walking shoes recommended. There is no charge for the event.

National Park Partners is currently looking into producing an online map and a bicycle or driving tour option that would allow exploration of sites that are in the downtown vicinity but not easily included on a walking tour. While the guided tour on Wednesday is the only one of its kind planned at this time, the group is also looking into funding options to make this a recurring event. In the meantime, hard copy maps of the basic tour will be made available at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center by Aug. 31 for anyone wishing to do a self-guided tour. 

 



Sankofa Fund Commemorates Black Philanthropy Month

The Sankofa Fund for Civic Engagement, an African American philanthropic initiative founded in 2015, is commemorating Black Philanthropy Month 2018 with an evening talk by Ebonie Johnson Cooper, founder of the Young Black and Giving Back Institute. YBGB provides programming, thought leadership and educational resources related to millennial diversity within philanthropy; specifically ... (click for more)

Jen Jeffrey Billington: The Dragon Slayer

In the wee hours of the morning I woke up and began praying for my husband. If I wake hours before it is time to get up, I may fall back asleep while praying and then continue when I wake again or throughout my day. But this morning, I was overwhelmed with such love for him and I stayed awake praying until it was nearly time to get up. It is very important that I pray for him. ... (click for more)

Trustee Hullander Says Airbnb Will Remit Hotel/Motel Tax Directly To His Office; It Has 600 Local Hosts With $7 Million Annual Income

Trustee Bill Hullander said Wednesday that Airbnb has agreed to directly remit hotel/motel tax for its 600 hosts in Hamilton County to his office. Mr. Hullander said prior to the agreement that his office had difficulty locating those renting out rooms or homes and had just 90 on the books. The agreement is slated to boost the current hotel/motel income from $85,000 to $560,000. ... (click for more)

County Attorney Says All Votes Were Counted In Recent Election Snafu, And None Affected Outcomes Of Races

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor, who is also the lawyer for the Election Commission, said all ballots were counted despite a recent election snafu. He said the affected voters did not affect the outcome of any election. Election officials said they learned just prior to the Aug. 2 election that there was a problem with  some district lines being improperly drawn several ... (click for more)

Jeff Styles, I Believe You - And Response (3)

I am glad that Jeff Styles presented the details of the event on his website.  Just because the government alleges a crime does not mean guilty. A criminal charge is an allegation by government. Sure, that allegation can be very serious, but the charge is still an unproven allegation until a court of law and Lady Justice has her review of the proof.  A person gets ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘The Cake Is Baked’

If all goes well, and as expected, Hamilton County Chancellor Jeff Atherton will tell a group representing the Democratic Party not to ever again clutter his office or his courtroom with such a childish amount of political poppycock as will be brought on display tomorrow. The Democrats want to block Robin Smith, a longtime Republican stalwart, from becoming our next State Representative ... (click for more)