Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Glorious Day in May

One of the most important sculpture displays in the United States at Green McAdoo
Cultural Center in Clinton, Tennessee. 

Thursday, May 17, 2007
2:00 PM

This is the day the Lord hath made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 KJV

On May 17, 2007, I attended the monument unveiling and dedication of  the Green McAdoo Cultural Center in Clinton, Tennessee.  It truly was a glorious and beautiful day!  Tennessee Govenor Phil Bredesen spoke at the event and "praised the 'courageous men and women' who 'stood up against hatred,' and walked down the former segregated Green McAdoo School and into history books".  Nine of the twelve students who desegregated Clinton High School on August 27, 1956, were in attendance as the life-sized statues of them were unveiled at the Green McAdoo Cultural Center on School Street.

Cleo Ellis, President of the Green McAdoo Cultural Center, welcomed the attendees. A prayer followed delivered by The Reverend Alan Jones, Green McAdoo Cultural Center Board Member and Pastor of  Asbury United Methodist Church in Clinton, Tennessee.

Governor Phil Bredesen in center with guests.  If anyone can identify the other
individuals, please let me know so I can include their names.

My sister Patti with the Green McAdoo Cultural Center in the background.

Beautiful view of downtown Clinton from the Green McAdoo Cultural Center with the mountains
in the background.

Front page coverage of this historical event in the local newspapers.

The sculptor of the twelve bronze statues, William F. Duffy. The bronze statues honoring
the twelve students took about a year to make using clay, plaster and rubber molds,
as well as wax and bronze.  Duffy worked from photographs.  I felt honored to meet him and 
talk with him for a few minutes.  Duffy's work is very durable and designed
to withstand time, weather and human contact.  Duffy maintains a studio in
Baltimore, MD, and is represented exclusively by the Large Art Company.

It was a thrill to see long ago friend, Lana Seivers, with the Govenor's entourage who
had arrived from Nashville for the days' festivities.  Lana at the time was the Commissioner
of Education for the State of Tennessee.  We're proud of you, Lana! ♥

Did anyone else notice my top and the sculptor's shirt are quite similar? :-)


The stunning statues silhouetted against a clear blue May sky.

Govenor Bredesen addressed the crowd at the dedication before the unveiling.

The Green McAdoo Cultural Center, May 17, 2007.
Clinton, Tennessee

Oh, the emotions!  In the foreground of this photo is
sculptor William Duffy.  One can only imagine his emotions involved in the blood,
sweat and tears he put into the creation of these beautiful works of art.

It is hard to describe the emotions heard and felt when the sculptures were
unveiled. So many emotions involved in the
collective "sigh" as the drape was lifted.
There were the silent tears, too.

A perfect May Day.

May we always remember "The Clinton 12":
Gail Epps Upton, Alvah McSwain Lambert, Maurice Soles, Theresser Caswell, JoAnn Allen
Boyce, Regina Turner Smith, Minnie Dickey Jones, William (Bill) Lantham, Alfred
Williams [not pictured: Robert Thacker and Ronald Hayden ~1942-1966)]

Carolyn Wilkerson sung at the dedication, she sang "America" accompanied by Jason Moore.  At the closing, she sang "I'm Still Holding On to His Hand"

Here is a version of the closing song, "I'm Still Holding On", sung by Deborah
Barnes with Luther Barnes and the Red Budd Choir:

1 comment:

Clint said...

This is really a special post. You grew up in Clinton and saw those historic moments. I'm so impressed you got these pictures and told this story. And what a special work of art the statues are!