TN Writers TN Stories: Dynamite Nashville by Betsy Phillips

Sun Jul 14 2024 at 10:30 am to 11:30 am UTC-05:00

Tennessee State Museum | nashville

Tennessee State Museum
Publisher/HostTennessee State Museum
TN Writers TN Stories: Dynamite Nashville by Betsy Phillips
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Join TSM for our June TN Writers TN Stories series where author Betsy Phillips will be discussing her new book Dynamite Nashville.
About this Event

On September 10, 1957, Hattie Cotton Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee, blew up. On March 16, 1958, the Jewish Community Center was bombed. On April 19, 1960, the home of Civil Rights attorney and Nashville city councilman, Z. Alexander Looby was dynamited. He and his wife were lucky to escape with their lives. These bombings have never been solved. In fact, many in Nashville don't even know they're connected. In Dynamite Nashville, Betsy Phillips pieces together what really happened in Nashville at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement. It has national implications for how we understand the violent white response to desegregation efforts and white supremacist actions now. Just as Nashville was where Civil Rights icons like John Lewis, James Lawson, and Diane Nash got their start, it turns out that Nashville is also where a network of racial terrorists began experimenting with using dynamite against integrationists and the Civil Rights Movement. Worse, in Nashville, we see how the differing agendas of local police and the FBI allowed these bombers to escape prosecution until decades later, if at all. Dynamite Nashville, then, is a prequel to the racist violence of the 1960s, the story of how these bombers came together to learn how to terrorize communities, to blow up homes, schools, and religious buildings, and to escape any meaningful justice.

Betsy Phillips has written for the Nashville Scene and the Washington Post. Her fiction has appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Apex Magazine, among others. She was named 2019 Best Historian in the Best of Nashville edition of the Nashville Scene and has served on the board of Historic Nashville, Inc. She lives in Whites Creek, Tennessee.
Learotha Williams Jr. is a professor of African American, Civil War and Reconstruction, and Public History at Tennessee State University and coordinator of the North Nashville Heritage Project. He is the co-editor, along with Amie Thurber, of I’ll Take You There (Vanderbilt University Press).
This event is part of our series. Readings and discussions take place in the Digital Learning Center at the Tennessee State Museum. Most events include an opportunity to purchase books through the Museum store and get them signed by the author. If you show your Eventbrite ticket you will receive a 10% discount on your book purchase in the Museum store.

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Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Tennessee State Museum, 1000 Rosa Parks Blvd, nashville, United States

Tickets

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