Archive | December, 2012

TWB – Traveling While Black

28 Dec

As we all know traveling for Blacks during the Jim Crow era could be very difficult. Not all establishments catered to Blacks and finding the right establishments could be tricky. The last thing you wanted to do was stop at a Whites Only restaurant in an unfamiliar town and cause yourself some trouble. Because of this, the Negro Motorist Green Book was published as a guide to help Blacks know which establishments were friendly to them. As I checked through the 2 copies of the Green Book that I was able to find online I did not find any entries for West Tennessee towns. I did find entries for Memphis, TN in both copies.

In 1949 you could receive service at the following locations while in Memphis, TN

The Negro Motorist Green Book 1949

The Negro Motorist Green Book 1949

If you happened to be traveling through Memphis in 1956 you could visit the establishments below

Negro Motorist Green Book 1956

Negro Motorist Green Book 1956

Notice the Lorraine Motel on the listing for 1956? This is the same motel were Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Although there are no entries for our favorite West TN towns I wonder what hotels Blacks could stay at in our area or if there were even any hotels that catered to Blacks in this area.


– Tiffany

Source: The Negro Motorist Green Book


Newspaper Clippings – Nashville Union and American July 3, 1872

28 Dec

I came across this mention of Ripley, TN in the Nashville Union and American newspaper from July 3, 1872.

Nashville Union and American July 3, 1872

Nashville Union and American July 3, 1872


I’m interested in learning more about the Benevolent Society of Ripley and the role they played in the Black community.

– Tiffany
Source: Nashville Union and American Newspaper July 3, 1872 edition

Higher Education

16 Dec

As a graduate of Tennessee State University which is an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) I began to wonder about Black college graduates from Ripley and the surrounding areas during segregation. Of course these individuals would have had to have attended HBCUs. I decided to do a search of Tennessee’s HBCUs to see if I could find graduates from the Ripley area.

I decided to start with a quick search of Tennessee State University commencement records.

1932 Graduates of Tennessee State University
Dupree D. Davis – Jackson, TN
James C. Jones – Henning, TN
George A. Newbern – Jackson, TN

1935 Graduates of Tennessee State University
Johnnie Turner Baker – Dyersburg, TN
George Charles Newbern – Dyersburg, TN

1936 Graduates of Tennessee State University
Kathaleen F. McCadden – Elementary Education – Covington, TN
Ida Belle Powell – Home Economics – Jackson, TN
Arthur Lee Robinson – Agriculture – Dyersburg, TN

Other Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Tennessee include,

Fisk Univeristy – Nashville
Lane College – Jackson
Lemoyne Owen – Memphis
Knoxville College – Knoxville
Meharry Medical College – Nashville

Over the course of the next few weeks I hope to do more research into the Black college graduates from this area.

Source: Tennessee State University Digital Archives Records –

– Tiffany

Lauderdale County Training School – Part 3

16 Dec

More graduates of Lauderdale County Training School


Fannie V. Barbee
Anna L. Crook
Mary Jane Ford
Eddie B. Givens
Willard D. Hayes
Ada Mable Johnson
Saul E. Moore
Mary Julia Pierson
Eddie Mai Williams
Lillian Mai Washington


Gorden Buchanan
Laura Mai Currie
Rebecca M. Helm
Mary H. Rogers
Jessie L. Russel
Almeda Sawyer
Lucille Temming
Mary Thurman
Hatie M. Walker


Alma Beatrice Crook
Nannie A. J. Currin
Alice Lucille Glasper
Montell B. Hamb
Mary F. Holloway
Eva E. McCorkle
Lucy Bell Nelson
Collie J. Parker
Lucy C. Sawyer
Ernest Watkins
Alonzo J. White

Source: Lauderdal County Training School Reunion Booklet