Black and white photograph of high school students participating in a sit-in at a lunch counter in downtown Chattanooga in February 1960.

Black and white photograph of high school students participating in a sit-in at a lunch counter in downtown Chattanooga in February 1960. Courtesy of the Chattanooga Public Library and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections.

The city of Chattanooga is no stranger to nonviolent protest. From the Howard High School students who led sit-ins and look-ins in downtown Chattanooga during the Civil Rights Movement to contemporary activists advocating tighter gun controls and inclusivity, our city has a rich history of fighting for social justice. Explore our content in UTC Digital Collections and CHC Online to learn more about how Chattanoogans have fought for equality.

  • February 1960 Civil Rights Demonstrations photographs
    This digital collection documents the sit-ins and marches organized by Howard High School students in February 1960 in downtown Chattanooga. Included in the collection are images of demonstrators demanding equality at department store lunch counters in S. H. Kress & Co. and Loveman’s.
  • Black United Front newsletters
    This digital collection documents the Black Power movement in Chattanooga, Tennessee from 1969 to 1971. The newsletters include powerful language and imagery that preserves African American voices of the early Post-Civil Rights era. Created by Ralph Moore, a native Chattanoogan and member of Black Knights, Inc., the newsletters are a product of Moore’s vision and his collaboration with other local activists, many of who had been involved in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
  • Chattanooga Women’s oral histories
    This digital collection features interviews with women activists, leaders, and community organizers. Of particular note is an interview with Maxine Cousin, which details the murder of her father at the hands of the police and the creation of Concerned Citizens for Justice, a grassroots organization with a history of advocating for the victims of police brutality.
  • Chattanooga Gun Violence Activism oral histories
    Four interviews in this digital collection document the efforts of Chattanooga Students Leading Change (CSLC), a grassroots organization that participated in the local demonstrations as part of the March For Our Lives movement, which was organized by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who led a historic march for gun control in Washington D.C. on 2018 March 24. CSLC advocates for legal and policy changes at local and state levels.

 

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